You really are off to a good start on the journey. I know part of the process is the apprehension in buying the proper components, but falling into your preferred brands is part of the process. I feel that most brands do carry something of their own sonic signature so to speak. I started my system many years ago, and also worked it around the NAD integrated. I had the 3020B. Still functions flawlessly, and is currently giving audio pleasure to my father. In your speaker category you may also consider the Wharfdale line. I have not heard them, but they are at a good pricepoint for your consideration, and have received very favorable reviews. I am found of the Focal line, but you should listen for yourself, and find what suits you best. With your rock leanings, you will want something that can rock a little more. I buy most everything used, but I have always been leary of used cartridge purchases. You will also have to consider your speaker cables. Your table has an interconnect with it for you. If your integrated is vintage and you use the phone stage, be sure to turn the switch off for the phono section of the Denon turntable. I just ran into that when hooking one up for my dad. I am familiar with the Marantz. A friend uses it, and has been very happy with it. I have listened to it with him, and it is a nice vintage piece. Good luck with your choices. If you have the opportunity, I would try to hook up with a local dealer who may carry some of the product lines you might like, and try to listen to some of the gear on your own. I know that isn't always possible though. Best of luck - and remember to trust yourself and pick what suits your taste and your ear.
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