How to shop for an integrated?

I live in the NY metro area, and I’m looking for an integrated. I’ve been researching and reading about audio equipment for years, and now I’m ready to buy.

The problem is, most stores don’t seem to have much inventory or carry about 2 manufacturers (leaving one in my budget). They say things like “we only carry this manufacturer because they’re the best”, or “we stopped carrying that other manufacturer because of...”. Even if it’s an amp I like, I’ll hear “but the next one up is so much better, unfortunately I don’t have it to demo” or “I only have the higher end model, but the one you want pretty much sounds the same “.

And of course you’ll find similar with the speakers, making it nearly impossible to get an idea of how different amps sound with different speakers. Some don’t even have a turntable to use to demo.

It seems like I’ll need to heavily rely on reviews because it’s very difficult to sit down and really compare in person.

Conversely, I used to live in Singapore, and that was so much better. There’s basically a multi level shipping mall filled with high end audio stores who each carry a significant amount of inventory.

I’m hoping for some good suggestions.

What aspects of sound reproduction are most important to you, and what would you like to improve upon over your NAD?
Check out Raven audio.  Call Dave Thomson in Texas.  He is one of the owners of some of the best affordable integrated tube amps.  Dave is extremely knowledgable.  Raven offers a money back guarantee so if you do not like it you can return it.  The only issue is you might have to come up a little bit on your budget, but you will never have to buy another amp.
I live in Az and did visit the Audio Doc in NJ.  No pressure and you can listen to a hell of a lot of equipment.  So that is a good option for you also.  

About the NAD, there’s really nothing specific that I was looking to change, but I’ve been thinking about replacing it for a while now. For starters, I bought it in Singapore, and it runs on 220V only so I’ve been using a transformer/voltage regulator which is a bit annoying and can’t help but question any impact to sound quality. Also, when I got it I wanted surround, but have recently been exposed to vinyl, and find it to be an absolute game changer, so my focus is now on stereo audio. Also, I’ve never forgotten a conversation with a sales guy in a high end shop (think they sold Krells), and when I asked which is the best AV integrated for stereo audio, and the answer was “there is none”. Plus it’s quite large and heavy. Want something better looking too. 
From what I’ve been reading, I’m quite intrigued by the Belles Aria. Most of what I’ve read has only been on forums and only one formal review. Just curious as to why? But from what I read, seems lots of people are very impressed and see no reason to change. Plus, I like that it’s made in upstate NY (I’m looking at the Spynx v3 for similar reasons).
Just call Rutan and let him explain why Belles is special.  It's not a big company so you won't find formal reviews all over the place.
I listened to the highly reviewed new Parasound integrated but not for me. I guess just not fond of Class D amplifiers. The reviewers all say that the amp they are reviewing is different and doesn't sound like a class D amp. I hear Class D. For a couple bucks more you could pick up their 200 preamp and 275 poser amp that is  class AB. Just me, you may like them.