TT Recommendation- Rega 2, Pro-ject Xpression3 or?

I'm getting back into vinyl and on the hunt for a good turntable with a budget of approx $500. A friend recommended a new Pro-ject Xpression 3 which I can get for $550 (carbon tonearm and acrylic platter). A local hifi re-seller has a nice second hand Rega Planar 2 w/ Ortofon OMB 5E offered for $400.

The advantage of a new TT is no tinkering around with adjustments, plug and play. The downside of a second hand TT is the concern of a bad cartridge, belt, bearing and so on. I am technically inclined and have the capacity to preform repairs and adjustments if necessary but would prefer not to.

Others that have caught my eye;
Thorens 160B w/ SME tonearm
Revolver Rebel
Pro-ject debut 3 (new $350)
Rega Planar 3 (second hand $500)

Can anyone please provide feedback or recommendations?

I'd go for one of the Rega tables. They are great-sounding, reliable and trouble-free. IMHO, the Pro-ject (and closely related Music Hall) tables are junk.
While I wouldn't call Music Hall junk, and maybe not even Project, I do agree that the Rega is a far better choice than those. I had a P2 in my system for a couple of weeks and was very impressed with the soundstage in particular for that price range. I ended up buying a P5. I would go for the new P2 over the used P3, just for convenience and ease and warranty. Then you know where it has been, as well....
I was probably a bit harsh in my assessment. In general, I should have said Rega makes a much higher quality product.
Rega,most certainly.Do your homework and shop around.
Here's another vote for Rega............
I've enjoyed an NAD 533 (a Rega P2 clone) for many years, and have recently upgraded to a new Rega P3-24 w/ Exact 2 cartridge. I love it !!!

Rega makes a GREAT product.
Thanks for your comments, I primarily see the Planar 2/3 listed for sale, I believe it's the older version of the P2 and P3. From what I have read the newer model comes with a MDF platter (vs. glass), better tonearm and upgraded motor.

Are these the only differences between the Planar 2/3 vs. P2/P3? Would I be advised to hold out and find the newer model?

Oddly, I just looked up Rega Planer 3 on and was a little surprised by the mixed reviews on this table...
I have the Music Hall MMF5 and I believe it to be very good TT. I also believe that when you are in the range of 500 bucks the general quality is going to be the same no matter what you buy. Rega, Project, Music Hall, etc. they all compete in this market and offer the same product with some differences BUT YOU need to make the decision which is diffcult when dealing with it for the first time and not knowing what you want.

Go with the least expensive one and a modest phono amp, get yourself back into it and see.

Thats what i did and the bug hit me hard, now i am just waiting for my bonus, so YES i can buy a VPI or Clearaudio, not sure yet.

oh and lets be fair people none of the companies mentioned above are JUNK. They all have there pros and cons!