I am a VPI owner, although I started with a Scout (not the HW-19), and then moved up to a Scoutmaster. However, I auditioned the Rega 25 (with RB300 arm and Benz Ace cart) for a good bit before deciding to try the VPI (which, contrary to popular advice, I bought based on comments here on A-gon without first actually hearing it). However, I have not regretted going with the VPI at all.
Now, after having listened to both, the main difference that I perceive between the VPI Scout/Scoutmaster and the Rega is that the VPI has finer details. Each instrument or vocal is more distinctive and floats in its own space, and seems like it is etched in detail. I like that. Although I believe some people interpret this as VPI being too "analytical." So that's a matter of personal preference.
In contrast, the Rega (IMHO) does not seem as detailed, but instead creates a very "holistic" musical presentation (for lack of a better term). It is very good, and some people prefer that.
So it really kind of depends on your personal taste and what you want to your system to do. As an entry level TT, you can't go wrong with either. However, for what its worth, I have read other comments that there really isn't much of an upgrade path for the Rega 25.
I'm sure others can and will suggest other TTs not on your list.
A final note, VPI is about to ship its latest JMW9 "Signature" arm, which will mate with the Scoutmaster (and Scout). You can get details on the VPI website.
Good luck and welcome to vinyl.