Help trying to return to vinyl

After many years in the digital realm, I came across a Michell Gyro TT I couldn't pass up (always did love vinyl) but I'm finding it more difficult than I anticipated to "re-tool" my system to accomodate this beauty (beast?).

I'm looking to set up a "vinyl only" system along side my digital so I was looking for a phono stage (preferably with MC gain or I will add a step up) and a line state to go direct into my amp. I don't need a preamp with CD, tuner etc. - just a HIGH QUALITY volume control and some gain. Is there such a thing as this? The closest I have seen is the EAR 834P with volume control but I'd like a little better quality than this. Of course there are plenty of separate phono stages out there one can put in front of a preamp but why should I buy a preamp with all the connections etc for CD, tuner, aux1 etc. when I'm not going to use that?
any ideas?
Are you going to run two completely separate systems, one analog and one digital, or just unplug and replug whichever source you are using (direct to a common amp) each time you listen?

If you are using a common amp/speaker setup, I'm all for the purist route, but I would still consider going through a high quality preamp to facilitate the switching. If you get the right preamp you may even like the sound better through the line stage and extra connections. I've seen it happen.

Going direct digital into an amp isn't always the Nirvana it should be... And if you use a low output MC cartridge, you may even require added gain from a line stage to achieve enough listening volume.

The purist route is great if it doesn't inconvenience you too much and the results are demonstrably superior -- two big "ifs" in my book.

As far as preamp recommendations go, we'd have to know everything else in your system and your listening preferences in order to make a meaningful recommendation.
The best phono stage with volume controls I know of is the Aesthetix IO w/volume control. It is expensive, but very good. And it has all the gain you'll ever need for going direct to the amp with just about any cartridge.
"Try not. Do or do not. There is no try."

Master Yoda.
You might take a look at a transformer based passive volume control. A simple one can be put together quite inexpensively. Look at for more info. Then you have the whole universe of phono stages to choose from without the constraint of needing one with volume control, which are uncommon.

Adjustable everything!
I am recently going through the same transformation from pure digital, home theatre set up, to vinyl with tube phono and preamp. I use same power amp and speakers. There is no reason why you cannot find a preamp that can house all your digital and analog gear together. Usually, a full functional preamp is alway sonically more superior. A used ARC Ref1 or Ref2 plus a phone amp will be perfect for this purpose.

My experience is that you will end up buying more than what you intially plan to spend. You really need to think about your need and listening habit to make the right choice to start.
Thanks for all your suggestions to date!
My reason for two systems is that the my other family members (wife and kids) use our Great room (which is where my current system is located) for TV viewing etc. By having and analog only system in another room, I will have a place to go and listen to vinyl when the TV room (with the digital system) is occupied. I'm not much of a TV watcher but it would be good to have a high end digital system for movies as well as SACD 2 channel and surround. It's true that all this will cost more but the convenience is worth it to me.
So based on your suggestions I will be looking at the Aesthetix I/O, Manley Steelhead and S&B transformer with volume control. I also heard that Antique Sound labs makes something (anyone familiar with this?). Also, I think looking for a classic higher end preamp from back in the days when they made them with excellent MC phonostages might be an option.
I welcome any other ideas - P.S. I was just in NYC today on business and stopped by a place called "Jazz Record Center" - some little non-descript hole in the wall place on West 26th street but WOW! what a classic jazz LP collection. Check it out.
>classic higher end pre-amp from back in the days when they made them with excellent MC phonostages might be an option<

FWIW i still own (17 years now) and use regularily an ARC SP10II. I finally gave up trying to "find a better one" some years ago. The best adjective i have for it is that it is musical in the best sense. It has no major shortcomings especially if you're into vinyl.