I am kicking the idea of trying out vinyl. It’s been a long time since I had a turntable and it took a lot of thought whether I can deal with what always seemed like the snap, crackle & pops of an album. Anyway, I’ve decided to take a plunge after all the buzz how awesome it is. Of course before I make any final decisions, I always turn to the Audiogon community for their expert thoughts, opinions and education. I’m also looking for suggestions for a nice affordable table with tone arm and cartridge. Being the fact this is new to me and I may hate it, I’m looking for suggestions on the best affordable set up I can do for a new or used in the price range of $1000/$1500. I’m sure I can get a better bang for the buck going used. I just don’t know anything about these animals. My system is older but I still enjoy it which consist of a Mark Levinson 23.5 amp, Proceed AVP 2+6 used for 2 channel audio, Audio Acoustics model 9 speakers, Ayre DAC for digital with Transparent Audio Ultra mm2 cables. Any input is greatly appreciated!
You could pick up a used VPI table and a low hours cartridge. If you want to try a tt that gets good reviews in a lower price range check the Uturn web page, they also have a reasonable phono preamp.
Not sure I agree with the advice to buy new. But either way, you’ll want a reputable dealer who can work on it, and make sure your azimuth and vertical tracking are set up correctly. 

At at one point, it was thought that bet drives were more noise isolating vs that of direct drives. But that was as much the actual engineering as the method of turning the platter. Fine examples of each. Arguably there’s less maintenance with a direct drive, but I wouldn’t know. I got my belt driven table when I was 13 and it’s still producing great sound. 

A moving magnet cartridge ridge will give you a much easier interface to start with. Moving coils introduce new technical issues, but the manufacturers of better cartridges today tend to focus on the coil design. Not sure why that became a fad but it did. 

Good luck.

Oh, a good record cleaner and an anti-static surfactant such as in Groove Glide will do wonders to eliminate much surface noise. As someone who also streams a lot of music, I can’t deal with more than the occasional pop etc. 
luvrockin, You'll need a phono stage. The adjustable gain will not give you RIAA. As mechans stated above, you can get a reasonably priced one if you wish.  
Definitely new Technics direct drive!

If your budget is under $1500 look for a brand new Technics SL1200RG (silver or black versions available). Forget about old Technics and make sure you’re looking at GR or more expensive G models only. This table will serve you for the next 30 years without service. I don’t think any belt drive will survive. Technics is Made in Japan, in terms on usability none of the belt drive come close. Direct Drive is a precision and powerful motor with immediate start/stop. Technics is build like a tank. For your needs this is great start with some decent mid compliance MM or MI cartridge. You don’t have to change Technics turntable/tonearm, but you can change a cartridge when you ready for upgrade. Vintage MM like Grace F14 or Level II, Victor X-1IID, Stanton 881 or 981 , Pickering XSV-3000 or 4500, Audio-Technica AT-ML170 or 180 can be your last stop for the cartridge, top models from these manufacturers are unbeatable today. 

The phono stage must be JLTi mk5, the price is nice and the quality is outstanding for both MM or MC.