Opinions on Pioneer and Sansui turntables please

I found a Pioneer PL-500 turntable for sale, locally, for $120. It's with Walco ES-30EX MM cartridge and apparently in good shape.

Is it a good buy? Anyone is using or used this turntable? The "runner-up" is a Sansui SR838 for $180, also local. It is supposedly much better TT but it cannot maintain speed so it should be fixed. Anyone has experience with fixing Sansuis?

Never, ever buy a turntable that does not work properly. Nor one missing any parts.
The prices you are being asked to pay are too high.
Elizabeth is right 100% save your money and buy yourself a Rega or any other budget TT with good pedigree. And do make sure it is complete and in excellent working order.

Do you really think budget Rega (such as p1 or P2) will be better that complete and in working order vintage turntable? I have read that really good old vintage TTs are better that modern budget, specifically Rega. Do you have any experience??

That Pioneer PL-500 costs one-third of a Rega and I don't want to spend $350 on a TT now.
Dear Prophos: IMHO this is the one for you:

Regards and enjoy the music.
Look into the Pioneer PL 71's or 55DX or a couple others that have rca out's that are offered on ebay like crazy. I just recieved a PL 71 last friday and just bought a 55 DX yesterday, and although I have not got it fully set up I can tell you that it blows away a P2 without question, there is no comparison. I was amazed at the detail this thing brings out effortlessly. I paid $50 and $40 for mine. But you have to be fast to get those kind of deals, otherswise expect to pay $100-$200.
Another thing about a P2 is that the motor is so weak it will stop if you put a brush on it.
Prophos try and get one of those vintage tt fixed or even try finding a part? I would guess that at least a downed Rega or Music Hall is very fixable and can be quickly serviced with just a phone call. Try that with a broken and downed vintage Pioneer or Sansui!now lets see what that phone number in Japan....?
local, local and only local is the way to buy any turntable. The seller must be able to demo it fully functional and operational, otherwise you are wasting your money. That is unless you are looking for a parts machine.
I had an SR838 that would not maintain speed. The strobe disk used for speed control had warped. The warp caused a severe speed irregularity every revolution. The warp could not be eliminated. It was not possible to fix because a replacement strobe disk was not available.
Listen to Elizabeth! If you are looking vintage and are on a tight budget, buy and old Dual or Thorens with an integraged arm. If you want direct drive I think that the Technics 1200 (or is it 1500) is still being manufactured and is very affordable. Not to mention it is very robust.
For a few more pennies, Rega does make a nice table.