There are at least theoretical and most likely practical advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. But at the level you're shopping for, I'd agree with Elizabeth and Steelhead that the overall construction quality of a turntable will have the most impact - which is to say, how rigid and nonresonant, how good the bearings, how good the motor and speed control, tonearm, platter, etc. I use a Technics SL-1200 direct-drive because I like the convenience and durability and quality at the price, and it sounds good enough to me, but I've made it sound quite a bit better than stock through some modifications, which also have also made it more costly. Whether I could get better sound if I invested around the same total amount in a used high-end belt-driver, maybe fully-suspended, I don't know and can't say, but I'm sure it wouldn't be as compact a package or as easy to use. Pick your poison and try to do it well while leaving enough left over for a decent cartridge is about all I can say, since it's very tough to ever comparitively audition turntables under otherwise-identical circumstances before purchasing. And auditioning affordable BD vs. DD? - I don't know if there's any shop in the country where one could do that.