Best $2K TT Package for VAC

I would like to get a turntable. I have a VAC Avatar Super integrated amp with a phono stage that requires either a MM or high output MC cartridge. I would like to get a complete package for under $2K that will not only get me re-started in vinyl but something that I can easily maintain. I am not opposed to buying used but may prefer new. It seems like VPI, Project, and Music Hall seem to offer options in this price range. Which cartridges should I consider. What would you get?
A VPI Scout w/ JMW 9 arm and Dynavector 10X cartridge purchased new will fit right into your $2k budget. This whole setup is also upgradeable in affordable increments:

Scout ---> Scoutmaster
JMW 9 ----> JMW 9 Signature (or Plus)
Add an SDS
Add a periphery ring clamp
upgrade cartridge

I don't believe the others you mentioned have such a wide open upgrade path.

BTW, I started with a basic Scout about 2 years ago, and have done this incremental upgrade and now have a Scoutmaster w/ JMW 9 Signature, Dynavector 20X-H cartridge, SDS and Stainless clamp.

I am greatly satisfied with this setup.

Good Luck.
Thanks, How about the clearaudio emotion? How would that compare to a scout?
As an alternative to the usual belt driven turntables, you may want to consider a Technics SL-1200mk2 with all the mods (arm damper, external power supply, threaded record clamp) from . This will be well within your budget and leave $1k for a suitable cartridge (or several different, since swapping carts is a breeze with the detachable headshells). I'm using a Denon DL-103 to my great satisfaction.

Check the recent review on TNT-Audio or Ed Kobesky's review here on Audiogon.
Agree with Coffee Nudge. Within your 2K budget, the Scout and it's upgrade path will serve you well. The added mass of the JMW9 signature arm really opens up a wide possibility of cartridge options including the Denons and the Shelters. If you keep your eyes open, there are some very good deals from time to time on AudiogoN for pre-owned Scoutmasters that also include the JMW 9 sig arm, for a bit more than your 2K.

To be honest with you, I have the Scoutmaster/JMW9 Sig/Shelter 501/Walker Motor Controller, and have been very happy with it. So much so, that my latest upgrade is to jump from that setup to the Walker Proscenium Gold Signature turntable.

It's pretty tough to get a better value in an analog setup in the 2K to 3K price range than the Scout family. JMHO...