Best complete turntable set-up for 500

I am looking to re-visit analog and my small (but now growing) LP collection. I have a nice mid-fi stereo with a pre-amp that has a good switchable phono connection. (Yamaha CX-1000) I am looking for a good new and complete turntable/cartridge set-up and I don't want to spend over $500. Even $300 would be nice. First of all is it even worth it to spend any money at all to get to that level or should I just buy a new belt and cartridge/needle for my 15 year old Yamaha P-30 turntable? I really don't want to, but it is an option. The one turntable that has caught my eye is the SUMIKO. Either the Project 1.2 or 2. Are they worth the money? ($250 and $400 respectively) Also what are my other options. As far as looks go I like a minimalist approch, basic black with a cover. Probabaly nothing too fancy, but at a $300-$500 budget that should not be to much to worry about.
Cant beat a Music Hall M M F-5 Its a double plinth,glass platter design.Comes with a $175 MM Goldring 1210GX MM cartridge.Also comes with a decent arm and a record clamp.This is a Stereophile Class D table.Audio Advisor sells them for $495 but you can probably get one for $450 or less.
I've heard good things about the Sumiko Project turntables, and also the NAD tables (they're basically Rega tables). You might want to try and find a used Rega Planar 3.
I agree the Rega-3 is great with a RB-300 arm.Might be able to find a used one for < $500 but then you need a cartridge too which will push you over your budget.The Goldring cart. on the M M F-2 is already mounted.Its a steal @ $495
I have seen Well Tempered TT on this site for $500. This includes the Well Tempered arm. I can't imagine doing better at this price.
You need to buy used for the biggest bang when purchasing in your price range.
Adding to what Brulee said, a used Well Tempered is indeed a great value. The WT is extremely quiet, an often overlooked element when upgrading your source. Putting more money into your 15 year old Yamaha will not only be lost at resale time, it's performance will never compete with the other turntables suggested here. I think you would be surprised at the dramatic impact a great source can have on your system. This is at the very front end of the chain, any garbage removed here is clearly obvious at the speakers. I wish you luck!
My .03(to cover inflation) Vpi jr/with whatever arm or cartridge it comes with.....used. Easy set up(can't be said of WT) Flexability,upgradability,for when the ship comes in.Resalabitily,(won't loose a dime) and not to bad for playing records, And "maybe" under budget if you get lucky.What you are contemplating is the greatest bang-for-buck you can get.Happy hunting.
i agree w/everything said here so far, but i must weigh-in especially on the side of buying used - ewe will get an order of magnitude better going used at this price-range, imho...