Based upon the negative impressions I have seen recently of customers' interaction with Roy Hall, I would be inclined to give my money to Rega ...
I'm steering toward a Rega P6...can't find enough wrong with those at that price point, they come with that speed gizmo, and I can get a red one (THAT'S important). The VTA thing bugs me a little, but the stock optional "Exact" cart seems to be likeable. I have yet to hear much from people not liking 'em...but I'm listening!
I've had an MMF 5 and several different Regas -- two older P2s, a P3 2000. I'd recommend the Rega over the Music Hall. I found it to be a better table with a much better arm (not sure if the 5.1 has the same tonearm as the 5). Also, given your choice of music, the Rega, which excels at rock, ought to be just the ticket. I've not had a VPI or a Marantz or a Clearaudio in my system, so I cannot speak to those suggestions.
With Rega 3 point mounting system for tonearms, the after market VTA adjsting ring gives you relatively quick VTA adjusting if needed. On My P3-24 when I had the RB301 arm on it I was able to shim it with 3- 4mm high small hex nuts, when I mounted my Denon Dl-110 cartridge on it. It took 2-3 minutes and looked just fine. I now have a Jelco SA-370H arm on it and it has an adjustable VTA collar.
I could not agree more on Basis. I moved from a Rega P-25 to an older Basis 2000 with a Basis modified Rega arm. It was far superior to my Rega table.
Recently I bought a Basis Vector 3 arm and replaced the Rega arm. The difference, to quote my wife who usually does not notice this sort of thing, said "Whatever you changed made more difference than anything you have done before."
Both table manufacturers blow. However, you get what you pay for. You'll end up buying yet another table at some point early down the road - so - save your money and buy a good table (better than the Rega's and music hall's of the world) first time out....
I hate the way regas play "slightly" fast to make them sound more "lively."
Well I have had the New Rega RP3 for a week now. I ordered it with a custom plinth from Joel Sciley at AudioWood.com. Joel did a fantastic job on the plinth. it looks beautiful. He is a top notch guy to deal with. First class work and excellent with answering any and all questions. I am running the turntable through a Marantz PM 7200 integrated amp using Sennheiser HD595 headphones. I just love the sound. totally musical and engaging. Not the least big analytical. I find that I am not thinking about the system at all just listening to the music. I can't say that about my main CD system. The instruction manual said that some people prefer to listen to the table with the cover up. I found this to be true in my situation. With the top down the sound is a bit muddy and bass heavy but with the top up everything snaps into focus. I am very happy with the choice I made. Thanks for all the input guys.