I agree with Kehut regarding the Koetsu Black.
At first I found it to be a slight improvement over my Glider II (Yes, I had one as well). It had the midrange magic of the Koetsu line, but the HF and LF extension was not as good as the Glider II. It did have a much lower noise floor than the Glider II however. (This was really a nice surprise, as I had thought the Glider had a low noise floor, that is, until I heard the Black!)
However, now that the Black has broken in (and breaking in takes about 100 hours, btw), I feel that the LF is better than the Glider, (the bass has more detail), and while the HF is still somewhat less than the Glider, it somehow sounds more musical, not as, for want of a better word, bright.
You might want to check out the review in HiFi+ a month or two ago. They seemed to really like it as well.
(At some point I am going to upgrade to the Koetsu Urushi, however, now that the Black has broken in so well, I am not in as much of a hurry. A Urushi can be had for about $1,900, which is just a little past your budget, but well worth it. A buddy of mine, with a HR-X just bought an Urushi, and his response was..."WOW, what a cartridge!")
My two cents worth. Good Luck!