jperry, thanks, really enjoy that site, lots of good information there!
Lots of good info has been provided here. cd318 mentioned that a lot depends on the spec level of your table, that is, what bearing does it have, what sub chassis, what arm board, is the plinth a corner braced version, what bottom plate, what top plate, what power supply, etc. Potential money pit? Yes. Mine is outfitted with the full Stack Audio Ultimate upgrade kit (my kit is the previous version, not the current version). Linn has their own upgrade parts as do other companies.
I would not put a 2K - 3K arm on a basic level table.
The old Linn viewpoint is that the table is the most important then the tonearm is next and the cartridge is last in importance. Of course having all three at a high level is a good thing.
Re: Linn tonearms, something to consider is the head shell size of most of the Linn arms. They are a bit small and can limit cartridge choice except for the Ittok, which has a larger head shell. The Ittok is known for having a "lively or energetic" upper mid range. I have an Audio Origami tone arm. It has a generously sized head shell and it has a more evenly balanced sound compared to the Ittok.
If I was buying a great sounding tonearm for an LP12 Linn, I would look at an AMG 9W2 or the 9WT (turbo) arms. These are made as a direct replacement for the Linn arms, are VERY well made and sound great. I don’t know your budget but if you can afford this option, you should find and talk to an authorized AMG dealer in your area. A friend of mine bought the 9WT for his LP12 and it just blew away the Ittok he had. No comparison. The Ittok was no slouch either. Good luck with whatever you choose.
Scot, nice suggestion. I have also heard good things about the AMG arms. They will be on my radar if i ever replace my WTA. ( hopefully they would be a step up??)
@rbtstock While it is a fact that the make up of the table is going to impact what you hear with an upgraded arm, IME upgrading the arm will always allow the table to give off its current best. The arm does have a very significant impact on the SQ. The table is only as good as its weakest link, but the arm can easily be that.