All - thanks for your responses. Very helpful.
Twl - I'm having difficulty finding 1% resistors locally, but I'll probably test out and build some el cheapo rat shack ones as my first test since I'll likely have to order the higer quality ones. This will give me some practice and a reference for how much better the high quality ones sound.
Sidssp - thanks for confirming that I should be fine w/ 1/4w ones.
Herman - the phono stage is a Gold Aero DB-45 I picked up for a reasonable price from Hong Kong. It had the original manual and test sheet, but no loading plugs. The manual stated 100k internal loading (later confirmed). In an effort to understand how the loading plugs needed to be built I ended up trading email with Peter Russel, the designer of the piece. He is now VP of Operations for Penta Labs. I took a chance and emailed Penta as the maker of Gold Aero tubes and asked for a little help. Within a day Peter had emailed me the calculation and some more info on the pre. Nice guy and great service.
I thought about replacing the internal resistors and will eventually do this, but until I settle on a cartridge (still using the one shipped with my recent table purchase), I like the option of being able to pop phono plugs in and out of the back for testing purposes. Once I settle on a cartridge and required/desired value, I'll open it up and go after the internal resistor (and bypass the phono plugs while I'm in there...).
Zaikesman - yep, MI - Grado Sonata that shipped with my used table. I'm tweaking and saving my pennies to get into a Shelter 501 at Twl and many others recommendation.
Again, thanks to all of you for your help here. I'm really digging being back into my vinyl collection and appreciate the guidance of the board.