Sell Me Your Women, Your Children, Your Vintage Turntable...

Ok I’m trying to understand the appeal of buying something like an old Garrard 301 or an elderly Technics all trussed up in a shiny new plinth, versus something manufactured in the 21st century by people not wearing clogs.

Surely modern gear has to perform better, dollar for dollar? It isn’t like these restored Garrards are exactly cheap, i was looking at one for almost $11k yesterday on Reverb. The internals looked like something out of a Meccano set.
 I ought to be more in tune with the past, I’m almost 60 and wear bell bottoms, but the style of the older TTs just doesn’t do it for me. Now then, my Dr. Feickert Volare had a look that was hardly futuristic, but that’s about as retro as I’d prefer to go.
All that said... I will buy one of these old buggers if it genuinely elevates performance. 
With $10k available for table and arm, on the new or used market, how would you splash the cash?

@lewm , no argument from me.

Billwojo, given that an idler drive usually has much more torque than a belt drive reason would have it that you would have to worry about slippage with an idler much more than you would a belt drive. The rubber on every idler wheel I have ever handled is seriously less compliant than the stiffest belt. The Idler wheel is a direct connection between the motor and the platter. As a matter of fact than darn thing is jammed in between the shaft and the platter and held there with a spring loaded mechanism. At least the TD 124 had a belt between the motor and the flywheel/driveshaft.
Actually mijostyn you can modify the platter drive to drag the platter vs PUSH the platter.

That drive boggy on a Thoren or Russco/QRK/Sparta is swapped to an aluminum pully / bronze bushed and super soft silicone rope o-rings.

The platter is easy to dampen and drop balance AFTER the dampening is added.. Flex seal works wonders to quiet the whole thing down.. Chassis and all

Dimple roll the stuff it’s even quieter, but it's not the prettiest, when you dimple roll.. The plinth stabilizes too NO more growing summer to winter.

 A line almost from the infamous Captain Sensible,Women and Captains first.Modern technology from a turntable specialist.If you buy quality it can hold its resale. you buy its still the vinyl that sits on it thats most important.
That’s wisdom. I built my collection with vintage and quality new vinyl before I did the 401.

Now I’m hearing my original mono blonde on blonde promo vg++ for the first time really, and that’s just one example.
Different strokes for different folks.
If you don’t see the appeal in vintage turntables go for one of the modern designs, there are many good options to choose from. From your list, I’d probably go with the SME.

 I have a modern turntable and vintage as well, they are very different in everyday use, the way Garrard switches clang, there’s nothing modern like it. Idlers do sound a little different from belt drive and to some a more engaging sound…only you can make that decision for yourself. Rumble is not an issue and such an easy fix, I don’t get why it’s mentioned so often.