The Shure V15VMRx has not been made in over a year, so the only examples would be used or NOS. The ones that I have seen will exceed your budget. Nice alternatives are the Audio Technica AT440MLa ($89.00), Audio Technica AT150ML ($289.00), Ortofon OM20 ($120.00), Ortofon OM30 ($189.00), Denon DL110 ($110.00), Denon DL160($189.00), Grado Red ($110.00 hums on some decks), Grado Platinum ($300.00, also may hum), Clearaudio Classic ($200.00) and if you want to stretch a bit, Dynavector 10X5 ($360.00). All prices are approximate. In their respective price ranges my favorites would be the 440MLa, the DL160 and the 10X5, but all are very good cartridges. After the great vinyl sell off pretty much only the strong survived.
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Oh, I really forgot to answer the main question, which is that I have owned the M97Xe and it is a great match to the arm, but a rather dull and warm sounding cartridge; I think that the AT440MLa for another $25.00 has more definition and clarity, at the expense of some of that warmness and smoothness. The AT takes about 30 hours of play to sound just right; the Shure is pretty much good right out of the box.
I'm with Viridian about the M97xE. If you play much used vinyl, it may be handy to have one around because its damper brush enables it to track very warped records.
As for me, I moved from the Shure to a Denon DL160, and the only way I'll play the Shure now is if it *is* a hideously warped record. Even then, I'm always aware of the sound I'm missing. If you look at this TNT-Audio review, scroll down to the charts and you'll see the source of the Shure's smoothness and warmth: In the first frequency response plot, the highest output is 100 Hz and then it slopes down gradually (with no peaks or dips) until it's 4dB down at 10KHz, bumps up a dB for a bit, and then falls off the cliff at 17KHz.
I found that the Shure's highest output at 100 Hz was really annoying over time. In the Technics SL12x0 turntable that cartridge sensitivity exaggerated resonances at that frequency, whether it was excited by bass output from the speakers, in-room noise, bumping the equipment rack, or tapping the plinth. I suppose the Shure could be a handy tool for damping to tune out upper bass resonances.
Further down, you'll notice that the damper brush completely damped out (6dB worth) the 10 Hz arm/cart resonance.
I plan to get KAB's fluid damper. Then I'll be able to play warped records with the DL-160.
The DL-160 is certainly more money than the AT440MLa, but it's detailed, extended, and yet quite smooth through the treble. I wish I had a 440 for comparison. I suspect it's almost the opposite of the Shure--transparent (with OCC copper), fast, detailed, and extended.