I love CJ and my Cj stuff was more humble than yours but very enjoyable and musical. I have a supratek preamp now but still own an 11a amp.
I had a Thorens both 125 and 126 for about oh 30 years or so and never got out of vinyl period. I traded an SACD player for a SOTA sapphire and it was a significant upgrage to my tired old ears. I would just suggest you try to listen to a Cosmos if you have a chance. There is a comparison on Stereophile Archives about a reviewer that had a VPI TNT and SOTA Cosmos in his system and he used the same tonearm and cartridge in both to evaluate if you are interested in direct comparison.
I have nothing but respect for VPI and certainly wouldn't try to dissaude you, but, I would definitely try to compare and contrast with a SOTA Cosmos if you have a chance at your level.
I am in the same situation in Alaska. There is no opportunity to compare turntables here in the state so you HAVE to rely on past experience, user impressions, and reviews. I couldn't help myself and bought a used COSMOS recently. I based that decision on my very favorable and still enjoyable time in the saddle with the sapphire, and I definitely have the vinyl collection to test it. As for the cartridge, that would be an easy nod for the Shelter unheard but I am a big fidelity research fan and use a Van Den Hul Fidelity research FR1MK 3 rebuild and am trying to get a FR 201 rebuilt currently. So, if the maker was a former employee at Fidelity Research, hell, for me it an easy decision.
In any event, enough rambling, have Fun and I am sure you will love it with your front end and down range components. Should be very enjoyable system.