TT Suggestions

Ok, here comes another one of those "please recommend" threads. Like alot of others the vinyl bug may be biting. The last TT I had was a B&O (not the straight arm track) and a very inexpensive Yamaha phono amp. I have about 500 to 600 albums collecting dust for like the last 10 years and I'm thinking i'd like to hear them again. I don't want to start off really cheap because I at least want to hear them properly but I don't want to get really deep because I just might not like the whole idea. The current electronics are an Anthem AV30, Emotiva XPA1's, Mag 3.7's and Sunfire TSEQ12. I listen to a very wide range of music. Lots of old rock. Current female Jazz vocals. I'd like to be in the $2 to $3,000 range for table, cartridge and amp. Rega seems to offer some good bang for the money. Any suggestions?
Spend less and get great sound and value. Find a used Denon 47F that can be picked up locally. Equip it with a new Denon 160 cartridge. This TT is the equal of anything that is in the $2-3K class. Is it the equal of new VPI? No, but comes close and is less a hassle. I know, since I have VPI tables. A 47F in top condition comes very close.
Set aside something also to clean your records. Maybe a VPI that will set you back 600-700 or so. Rega, Project, Funk, MUsicHall all have good as in decent starting just plug and play combos. Since you are not sure your ready to jump off into the deep end why not start with less knowing you can always sell it on Audiogon and move on up the chain?
In that price range you should really consider the Well Tempered Labs Amadeus. You'll not likely find anything better.

Sota Star Sapphhire III for about $700 used, Sumiko ft3 or 4 arm for $400 or less. Dynavector Karat 23r for $400 and McCormack Micro Phono for $350. There, you have a great system for just under $2000 grand. Spend another %50 or so for a tonearm cable.
If you've got that many albums, and they've been collecting dust for that long, my advice is to get a vacuum machine. I wouldn't go crazy with one, as you may not want the hassle over the long haul. The KAB USA EV-1 is about $170. It's a Nitty Gritty without an internal vacuum; simply connect your own.

If you know what you're doing regarding setting up a table and aligning a cartridge, you could buy a second hand deck to minimize the risk. If you don't know what you're doing, buy new - preferably from a local dealer, but if you don't have one, from someone like Music Direct. They can instal the cartridge before shipping and talk you through setup.

I'm a huge fan of the Rega decks. I own a Pro-Ject 1Xpression, but would have bought a Rega deck had I had a local dealer at the time. No regrets with the Xpression, but a P3 would have been nice.

I don't know your sonic preferences, but if I had $2-$3k to spend on a new analog setup (assuming I had nothing), here's what I'd get (all prices are new) -

Rega RP3 - $895
Dynavector 10x5 - $450
Rega Fono MM (Will handle HO MC) - $299
KAB USA EV-1 - $170

That's a total of $1814. Leaves you plenty of room to buy a stylus cleaner, cleaning fluids, and some new inner sleeves so you're not sticking clean albums into dirty old sleeves.

Also, add a hand held steamer. They can be found for about $25. Takes cleaning up a few notches, and can be used for other stuff.

If you decide you're really digging the whole vinyl thing, you can always upgrade the Rega deck - TTPSU, subplatter, platter, and on and on. The Rega decks are also popular enough to not sit here for any length of time if you price it right, in the event that you decide you don't need the hassle of vinyl.

Just my two cents.
There's some nice ideas here. A number of different options. I understand completely about the cleaning. I took very good care of my records back then and would definitely need to invest in a cleaning product. The steamer is a completely new one on me. I certainly need to do some research and will keep a close look at some of the used equip. This is a nice start. Thanks for all the input.
just wanted to add my 2 cents that I recently purchased a rega RP3 (which came with the Elys2 cartridge) and it is a wonderful higher end starter table. I have it hooked up directly to the rega brio-r and that combo is simply fantastic imho.