With all the advances made in CD playback, things have come to a head allowing you to spend less than your target price and still get excellent results.
Case in point: I took my TEAC PD-H600 over to a local audiophile who sells out of his home. His system is in the 6 figures and its all tube. The preamp alone is $15,000 and its not stock. He has 'golden ears', played in an orchestra, advises manufacturers, etc. His system is the best I've heard.
We took out his Lector CDP and put in my TEAC. The difference was minimal, at best. There was a slight lack of body making for an ever so slightly analytical presentation that was all but forgotten half way through the first track. We ended up listening to the whole CD and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I wish I had his system, room, etc. but when I got back home, I realized that my system was not that far off from his. I certainly need a better, larger room but that TEAC held its own against some might fine equipment. All the CDPs mentioned should do fine allowing you to save the difference and spend it on music. Enjoy.