preamp with phono, MC or MM with transformer?

I'm looking for a preamp with phono but I have a .35 mV cartridge. My budget is around $1,000 used. I can go a little higher maybe closer to $1500 but I am downgrading to generate some cash and I don't wan to go that high if I don't have to.

It looks like at that price range my best bet is to get a pre with MM stage and use a transformer. I don't know much about the different models so any advice would be appreciated. I figure I can get a nice pre like an ARC SP-9 for around $700-$1000 and leave me $500 or so for the transformer.

Anybody had any experience with the Ortofon T3000? I found one for $600 but is seems there should be quite a few good choices in this price range.

I also saw a Rowland Coherence One that is the first series and can handle my cartridge, but I was wondering if anyone can compare the original with a series 2?
Herman, I am currently using a MFA Magus preamp with a Cotter step-up transformer. This is quite a nice setup, and I chose it because of much the same reasons that you are looking at. It was a good unit with an excellent phono stage at a reasonable price. I think that you could do alot worse than a unit like this for about the $500-$600 they cost on the used market. That would leave a little more money for a good step-up and maybe some mods, like I have done to mine. The caps and jacks and pots and wire are good places to make improvements on this unit, as would be the case with any older model preamp you would choose. I think in the ARC line, you would be better with the SP6 model range than the SP9. But again, they are older and need some mods to be "right" again. Others that would be good candidates, are the Counterpoints SA3, SA5, SA-3000, SA-5000, or maybe some of the older Audible Illusions Modulus preamps with phono sections. They are all good units with good phono sections that would cost about the same as a mediocre standalone phono stage, perform better, and give full function preamp capability. They will all perform better after cap upgrades and such. I went that route, and was not sorry about it.

Have you had the opportunity to hear a Wright WPP100C?

Wright Sound
Nrenter, I have not auditioned the Wright unit, but I have read good things about it. It may be a good possiblity in that price category. Just as anyone else here, I have heard many things, but nobody can hear everything there is. That's why it's good that there are alot of us here to pool our experiences.
look at this recent Thread;

Recommended pre amp's w/excellent phono stage

Do you think we are Bandyard animals? right TWL