The 1019, the 1219, the CS 5000, and yes the new models rock too.
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Good Questions. I really don't have a budget, just looking for value. I will be using the phono section of my McIntosh integrated. The stylus is brand new in the cart which is a Shure Type IV. I always like the German made Duals, very fine tone arms and i found they out performed the Japanese TT's of the day.
Aside from an emotional, or "soft spot" as you say, attachment there is little value in seeking out older Duals if performance is your primary criteria.
As others have noted, newer products from Rega, MusicHall, etc. will smoke the Duals.
If you're committed to retro, look to Denon, Micro Seiki, Luxman, etc.
I don't know why there is such a concentration for these older designs. I had a Dual 731Q, that was at its time the best from all. When I did listen the first time to an Oracle TT from one of my buddies at that time, I thought, I am in the wrong Universe. I sold it. And never looked back.
But, when you like this Company, what they made they made it right. But it was for Mass Market. But I have a similar opinion to other brands of this era, too.