Rega P2, Thorens TD-180 or Music Hall MMF-5.1?

For approximately $600, all these look to be top contenders. Which is the best sounding, highest quality table? In particular, I'm looking for a TT that minimizes inner-groove distotion (which, on my Technics SL-3200, seems unavoidable on some records...)
The Thorens TD-180 has long been unavailable, so that narrows your choice to two. (If you mean the TD-170, forget it; it's junk.)

The Music Hall MMF-5 has a slightly more sophisticated deck than the Rega, but the Rega P2 has a far, far superior tonearm. In my experience, simpler is better, and provided you can properly isolate the Rega, I'd go that way -- the RB250 arm is by far the best in class and can function wonderfully on tables much more expensive than the P2.

Want the best idea as far as future-proofing is concerned? Get a Rega P3 for a few bucks more. The RB30 arm is phenomenal, and if you later upgrade to the external power supply and a cartridge in the $500 range, you can have a quiet, tight, fast analog front end.
Thanks for your response. I meant to say the Thorens TD190, if that changes anything.
As a former owner of an MMF-5, I would advise to go with the Rega. The Rega arm is much better than the Pro-ject arm on the MMF-5. And easy and affordable to upgrade.
I bought a Thorens 190 for my father-in-law for Christmas. He is hard of hearing and REQUIRES an automatic turntable. The sound was OK, but the table has no future - upgrades, etc.

I agree with Ekobesky a new P3 would be future proof. If your dollars don't stretch that far I'd begin with a P2.

Just my 2 cents.
The TD190 is a good fully-automatic model but the manual P2 and MMF-5 are sonically superior.
Again, thanks for the input!
How does the Pro-Ject Xpression III stack up to the MMF-5.1 and Rega P2?
I have a new MMF-7.1 and am thinking of upgrading to a Rega P5 or VPI. The Pro-Ject arms aren't very tweak friendly.
Rega all the way
Ekobesky says
>>The RB30 arm is phenomenal<<

Well, if in fact you meant the RB300, you're quite incorrect.

The RB300 is a solid, serviceable, and reasonably high value tonearm but hardly phenomenal.

I have an MMF-5.1 and agree with the claim that it's hard to tweak. Adjusting the azimuth was a real pain, and I still think I don't have it right. Instructions say that VTA, azimuth, and cartridge alignment are setup at the factory. Don't trust that claim; my cartridge was not aligned perfectly, and neither was the azimuth. Who knows if the VTA is perfect either.

With that said, I believe this TT is a bargain for the way it sounds, but I haven't heard many other tables to make a real comparison.
I would agree with the above assessments. Bear in mind that the new P3,
refered to above, that can be upgraded with the external power supply is the
P3/24, an upgraded version of the P3 that came out about a year ago. The arm
on it is the RB301 and has, among other things, a different mount than the
RB300, or RB250 for that matter, similar to the RB700.

You might find a used P5 for close to the price of a new P3/24, or even a used
P3/24 that would fit into your stated budget.

dealer disclosure.
>>The RB30 arm is phenomenal<<

Well, if in fact you meant the RB300, you're quite incorrect.

The RB300 is a solid, serviceable, and reasonably high value tonearm but hardly phenomenal.

Come on, man...the guy is asking about a starter turntable. Is the RB300 or RB301 "phenomenal" compared to, say, an SME or Linn or Graham that costs more than six times his budget for arm AND table? Of course not. But name another arm at or near the RB300/301's price that performs as well. The Graham Robin comes a few hundreds dollars more.

Get real. Let's not scare the guy away from analog by imposing our notions of good on him. Within his budget, he'll do just fine with any Rega arm-equipped table.
I agree Ekobesky. The 300,especially with the dropped counterweight, and rewired arm may be even better than the Robin.
I own a TD190 and just sold my MMF5 after buying a used
REGA P3/2000. The Rega is definitly the best sound with
the same cartridge used on all 3 units. I know that from
actual experience. I'm sure the P2 would provide a similar
sound, particularly with a platter upgrade. Nothing wrong
with a used unit in either the P2 or P3. If you want a TD
190, I'll sell you mine much cheaper than new. Good automatic TT if automatic is what you want.
Thanks for all the input!
I've decided to order a preowned Rega P3-24.