Do I go vintage or newer?

I'm considering getting back into vinyl. My budget is up to $1,000 for TT and arm, used. I've been looking at the Music hall MMF-7, Rega P5 and couple others. My local hi-end shop has a few Sotas from the 90's that they will refurb and sell to me cheap as long as I buy cartridge from them. My question is which is the better way to go, "vintage" Sota or newer model. Most of my listening will still be CD, but I do have around 200 or so LPs just dying to be heard again.
Sota makes pretty good tables, depending on model of course. I don't see any reason not to go with one actually, if you can get a good price on it.

My initial thought is to go with the vintage Sota and buy the cartridge from them. This is based on the assumption that the dealer will:
1. Give you a warranty on the Sota table and tone arm.
2. Will set up the cartridge on the table for you.

Not having to worry about setting up a cartridge is great, since you probably don't have the proper tools to do so yourself. (i.e. a VTF guage, Alignment protractor, etc.)
This will save you a bunch of worries, not to mention money by having them do it. (And buying a used cartridge to save money can be somewhat nerveracking.)

Also, don't forget the cleaning supplies, such as a RCM (even a cheap Nitty Gritty or Record Doctor or a DIY KAB will work just fine), cleaning fluid (RRL seems to be the cleaning fluid of choice lately - I recommend it as no rinsing is needed), brushes (I like the Disk Doctor brushes, but some people like the MFSL as they're bigger), and stylus cleaners (I still like the old method of using something like RRL #9 and a stylus brush, but a lot of people like the magic eraser or the zerodust). All of this will cost a couple of hundred dollars, assuming you buy the NG used (or do a DIY KAB unit). Remember that when listening to vinyl, cleanliness is vital, both for your vinyl and your stylus.

One more thing, don't cheap out on the phono preamp. As your phono preamp gets better, the better you'll enjoy the music. (I also recommend getting a tubed unit if you can afford one.)

Good Luck!
both...the denon 500m...$600....and as amazing as anything for looks vintage too.
IMO, for $1000 a Technics SL-1200 MK II with one or two KAB Electro Acoustics mods is hard to beat. This does not include the price of a cartridge which can easily add $200 - $500.

On the other hand, there have been some VERY good deals lately on P5 tables with cartridges, and MMF-7 tables with cartridges for several hundred dollars below your $1000 budget.
Thanks for the responses so far. Kurt-I'll be using the phono preamp in my Rogue Magnum 99 pre- it is a tubed stage. I know it doesn't do well with low output MC, so cartridge choice is another issue. I've seen the offers on the Rega P5 and MMF-7 and have been tempted to purchase one. But I'm still on the fence on the Sota. Dealer will set-up completely, and is going to "put together" the best turntable for me using parts from the various Sotas they have. Will include choice of different arms, new belt, complete refurb to spec. I'll wait to see what they come up with as far as models and will respond back. Kurt-Guess the days of my Discwasher cleaning pads are over!
Of course, there is always the venerable VPI Scout with JMW9 standard arm. But, getting one used that lasts for more than 2 mins in the listings on Agon is near impossible!
I had a SOTA NOVA of late and can recommend a vintage SOTA as a good choice, if it is refurbished properly. Suspended tables can be a bit tricky to deal with. From an implementation perspective a suspended table has to be isolated properly to sound its best.

Check Vinyl Nirvana ( as Dave usually has some nice vintage tables for sale in your price range. Other than that I think both Jaybo and Tvad have made good suggestions for new tables.
I love SOTA!
My jewel with a Jelco arm and goldring cartridge are awesome. I don't know why resale on turntables is so poor compared to other audio gear. Not much to go wrong with a Sota table except maybe a belt for $12. You can easily get a $2500 table for $1000 and be amazed.
Only suggestion on a Sota would be to get new interconnects. The stock built in interconnect on most Sotas is the weak link.
I would add another vote for the Sota.
Starting a business relationship with a local Hi-End shop with analogue might work out well for you beyond this first transaction. You should ask them if they offer some help on set-up and trading-up for the future.

Happy (analogue) Listening!