Muse 9 sig, Bat vkd5, Wadia 850 are good choices...I've owned them all and liked em...Wadia is good choice if you can skip the preamp...
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I would definitely try the Arcam FMJ CD23, which retails for about $2,295. I have owned Wadia, Theta and Audio Research, and I think that this Arcam FMJ CD23 can hold its own in any good system. As with any, carefully select the interconnect that joins it to the amp. I use Audio Research tubes and Silverline SR17's ... I've got very good sound!
I agree with Mes with the new audio aero do out any day now, some are going to dump there old players. You wouldn't need a pre amp and it would blow EVERYTHING away near that price range. But if you must stick with new, check out the Resolution Audio CD-55, I am not sure if they are still being made but are a great player in that price range if they are.
Lot's of good choices here! BUT...are you talking CD player, or just the transport? There are quite a few of either available, and lots have already been mentioned; if you are looking at a transport, check out Audiomeca's Mephisto II (you could team it up with an Aragon D2A mkII DAC - very inexpensive, but excellent results to start with). If you want a CD player, check out any of the used Naim CD players that fit within your budget - good sounding equipment and not HOT right now so a reasonable value.