An Aesthetix IO would be an excellent choice. I have seen them on the used market under $3k. One of the best.
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The Io is great if you have a lot of rack/shelf space. The Io Signature has 3 large chassis and needs lots of heat dissipation space above each box. (That's 3 boxes to play back vinyl!) A non-Sig version has two big boxes. Get ready to buy a lot of tubes, too. Fabulous sounding unit.
I'm breaking in Benz Lukascek PP-1 phono stage right now. Can't get a handle on its sonics, yet. It's tiny. Seems well built, though. The Lamm LP2 looks interesting, too. I intend to follow this thread for recommendations; I'll ride right along with my curiosity for phono stages....