Confused newbie

I'm trying to get back into vinyl after almost 30 years. My strategy is to get an entry level TT/arm/cartridge less than $2K (new) & trade up after learning enough. The more I dig, the more perplexed I am. Seems every mfr has got some kind of an entry level system these days- Clearaudio, VPI, Basis, Nottingham... & they all sound good (compared with CDs).Here in Hong Kong dealers don't carry multiple brands so no way to A/B test. It's tough trying to remember if the Clearaudio Champion I heard 2 days ago was better /worse than the Basis 1400 I hear today. More confusing is that the 'next' model up is invariably SO much better (you should hear the difference between a Kuzma Ref vs Kuzma Stabi S.!)that I'm constantly tempted to up the ante which I don't want to & shouldn't. I settled on a 'safe' choice: Rega 25 w/Super Elys & then I started hearing things like "inconstant speed problems ; you need VTA adjustment...". I switched to a Basis 1400 & people started telling me "acrylic is bad, get one with a granitelike plinth, it'll resell better". What should I do ? :-(
Go and get yourself a used Micro Seiki turntable(Model 1500,3000,5000). This is what high quality turntable should look like!!! A very famous recording engineer/CD company owner once had a VPI something(US$3000), when one of his friend wanted to trade his Micro Seiki(Model 1500) for the VPI. The recording engineer immediately said yes. And now he is a very happy man. When compare to the Micro Seiki, the VPI is a complete JOKE !!!!!
*Forget all the new turntables, they all are over-priced and underconstructed. Feather light platter, cheap motor, not very high grade bearing and motor/platter/every things in one chassis. Tell me, where is all the vibration goes to!!!!!
My recommendation would be to look into the Nottingham Interspace and a Rega RB250 arm, Dynavector 10X4 II cartridge and the best phono stage you can afford.
The P 25 is a fine table and excellent value but lacks some dynamics. The Basis, VPI and Clearaudio do some exceptional things with tonality and visual/staging qualities but neglect pace and rhythmic qualities doing so.The emphasis is on sound rather than music ,imo.
The Kuzma is definately a contender to consider,tho, esp if your taste runs toward timbral/textural and tonal. It does so and still manages to maintain decent if not extraordinary PRaT(pace, rhythm and timing).
The Nott can do it all, is easy to set up, maintain and use. It's enormously engaging and expressive.The sound is big and muscular,liquid yet taut, refined yet fun.Maybe not the last word in detail extraction but goes straight to the heart of the performance.
Following Caterham's, IMO excellent, advice I could add Pro-ject: good construction for price level, errs slightly towards analytical vs. "musical". In this last respect, I find that many (most) modern TT designs favour "sound extracting ability" vs. prat, in the basic offerings. I don't remember the Micro Seiki (the sound, that is) Edle suggests.
If you con'nue the search, I suggest the following:
Choose 1-2 musically well-produced LP(s)--not necessairy music you love -- and stick to these throughout auditions. First listen on a dealer's huevo TT system---to get an idea of performance. Focus on musical rythm (does it make musical sense, or are you "reconstructing" the music in your mind from the "sounds" that are produced) and resolution ability ("do I hear the timbral differences in the cymbals..." etc). Pick out a FEW, memorable, points in the LPs (commit to memery, ofcourse).
You're looking for a TT, so focus exclusively on TT set-ups: not (yet) on electronics, phono stages or even cartridge. Stick to your price range; tell yourself that upgrading antes comes later -- EVERY markII is purportedly better than the markI.
Take quick notes during auditions.
Soon you'll have a short-list. At reasonable prices, this will probably contain a) analytical and b) "musical" TTs /to have both qualities in one TT is difficult in the price range. Review this list. Now, you're close. Check ease of set-up, matching with cartridges, etc., and *tweaking* possibilities: i.e., how easily & cheaply can you mechanically "improve" the sound of given TT back home. E.g., a musical TT + say, Neuance shelf= more analysis or, analytical TT + shelf= more musical? (Caterham above could enlighten on Neuance.)
Then check for a good, IMO budget, cartridge & the best phono you can reasonably invest in. Lots of info on both items at A'gon if the search function tickles your fancy.

If you've read this far, you could settle for a Nott and be done -- BUT, do listen before you buy: lots of good stuff out there!

Most of all, have fun during the search. Good luck!
Thank you so much for your inputs & tips. Edle, I can't locate Micro Seiki. Please tell me if you know.
The toughest part of my endeavor is it's very difficult for me to say one TT is better than another. They just sound a bit different that's all,whereas it's easy for me to differentiate even very slight differences among CD players.
Is it 'cos I've been away from the vinyl sound for so long ?
Saw one of the high end Micro Seiki's advertised for sale on this site recently. It was being sold by a dealer and had been very lightly used (or maybe even unused) in recent years. If I am not mistaken, the price was in your ballpark. Photo seemed to indicate that it was in excellent condition. Looked very stoutly built. You might search here on Audiogon if you are interested.