In that case if I were shopping for a new turntable at a reasonable price I'd look for a Nottingham Horizon with an RB250 tonearm. The Nott addresses the key deficiency of the cheaper belt drives (Rega, Music Hall, Project) which to my ears is speed stability. I'm sure there are good buys in US made decks, but I have never listened to them myself so I can't make a recommendation. I wouldn't get another rega ... it's good, but I think the Nottingham offers better value at a slightly higher price.
The RB250 is a good arm on its own and can easily be improved later with replacement of the counterweight (with the Michell tecnoweight) and wiring.
For cartridges I like the Goldring 1042, but in my opinion it is overpriced in the USA (importer gouging) It can be order direct from Mantra Audio in the UK for significant savings.
Other cartridges that are regularly recommended (but I have not heard) are the Denon 110 and 160 high output moving coils.
I'm not sure I can recommend a phono stage, not having any experience of them. I would imagine the creek unit to offer good price vs performance based on what I've heard of their other stuff.
I would expect the above to run about $1500 total and would probably give a similar (but different) level of performance to a $1500 CD player.
But I wouldn't expect any jaws to be hitting any floors, because I just don't hear that level of difference in vinyl.