Best Phono Preamp under $300 ?

Technics SL1200 Turntable
Audio Technica AT 440ML Cartridge
MIT Innerconnects & Speaker Cables
Acurus Amp/Preamp
Monitor Audio Speakers
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The Bellari VP-129 might be worth checking out. On the used market they are around $150.
cambridge audio 640p is a good inexpensive phono preamp ($179 new). i'm using it with my vpi scoutmaster and benz mc20e2l cartridge with very nice results.
I agree with the recommendation of the Cambridge audio and would add an Acurus P-10 if you can find one used.
If you can find a Bottlehead Seduction under $300 go for it. I bought 2 for under $250 each and they are sweet.
He already has a Cambridge 640P. Look at his system.
Rootmann would make a great detective! I currently have one & was wondering what else would be good. I like the idea of the Acurus P-10 & Bottlehead also. Thanks for the great responses! The great thing about Audiogon is being able to try a couple of different things & sell what is left over.
Try Vista Audio if MM is all you need. Don't let the size fool you. It plays big. Comes with a trial period too.
I used both Yamaha CX1 & CX2 previously and loved them. Iam not sure which, but I believe the CX2 had a button on the back to switch from MM to MC type phono cartridges. Very quiet and appealing pre. They should be fairly cheap on the used market by now.
Good luck, John
11-16-09: Rootmann
He already has a Cambridge 640P. Look at his system.
D'oh! I keep forgetting to do that!

Then he already has the best phono preamp under $300 unless he lucks into a good used unit. The MF V-LPS may be a little better. I don't think you get consistently, noticeably better until you reach the $600 Musical Surroundings Phonomena II. Except for a very narrow set of circumstanaces, a Bellari is not going to overall best the 640P. And the Slee Gram Amp 2 SE @ $410 is more money but a lateral move in performance and loss of MC capability.
The original Musical Surroundings Phonomena sells used for $250-$325. Nothing can touch it among these budget units. I tried a CA 640P and it was a decent little unit, but.... The Phonomena sounds worlds better (clean, quiet, fast as can be) and provides near limitless adjustments of gain and resistance for virtually every cartridge out there. If I were you, I'd stick with the 640P and keep careful watch for a Phonomena. As Johnnyb53 says, that's your best step up, and the price is within your range.