Arch2: I moved up to the Classic after enjoying my Scout for a little over two years. Its arguably one of the best, if not best analogue buys in its price range. I agree with the positive comments in the other posts. The VPI Classic is a formidable turntable. IMO its better than some others Ive heard costing twice as much. The aluminum platter improves dynamics. Some say it sounds more alive without the ring, but that hasnt been my experience. I prefer the sound with the aluminum/steel combination to that of the acrylic platter. Like you, I preferred having an outboard motor, but Harry Weisfeld has done an incredible job keeping motor noise away from the cartridge with the Classic. The 10.5 tonearm with the stainless armtube also brings more stability and less distortion. Overall, the 65 lb. Classic makes for a more stable and quiet setup.
I'm using a DV XX2 MKII cart. with a K&K Audio maxxed out phono stage (same as the Art Audio Vinyl Reference) and couldn't be more pleased. It's a big jump up from the DV 20XL which I also have used. I prefer the DV XX2 to my Zu/Denon 103R that sounded very good on the Scout. I'm using the SDS, stainless clamp and VPI Periphery ring. Some say its difficult to tell any difference running the Classic with the SDS but IMO the sound is quieter and more open than without it, especially on records that are dished or bowled. In my system the Classic has a robust and impactful bass that sounds musical and natural, (one of its obvious strengths- no one-note bass here), excellent transparency and dynamics, dimensional soundstage, and a tonal balance and density that just sounds right. The scale of the sound is larger than with the Scout and especially convincing when playing orchestral music.
You seem to have tweaked your Scout successfully. But, I agree with Islandmandan, youll get even better results with a better cartridge than the DV 20XL and with a better phono stage. Not too long after I bought the Scout, I moved up to my current phono stage. It made a huge difference in the sound. While tweaking the Scout, a definite improvement came after I replaced the stock cone feet 4 Aurios MIBs that supported the Scout while resting on an Arcici Airhead platform. I also upgraded the motor, added the VPI SDS, VPI stainless clamp and TTWeights periphery ring. All of these upgrades together took the Scout to level of performance I considered to be near its limits. But, in hindsight, I wouldnt recommend this path since its not cost effective. IMO its I recommend selling the Scout and going right to the Classic. Its a better turntable than the Scout and with the right cartridge and phono stage it could be your last one.
Besides moving up to a better phono stage, I suggest you take a good look at the new VPI Zephyr. Ive heard the Soundsmith Sussurro ($5k) in a system I know well that belongs to a friend. When I walked into his listening room I could tell the sound had changed. What I heard was so impressive in all musically meaningful ways it had me wondering what had happened. At first I thought it was some modification to the phono stage, but it was the Sussurro. My friend had been using a Benz LP cartridge. By comparison, the Sussurro was impressive in every way important to convey the information embedded in the grooves and the emotion in the music. Its the best cartridge Ive ever heard. I spoke with Peter Ledermann of Soundsmith who designed the Sussurro and Zephyr MI. He provided a compelling explanation of how he designed the Zephyr especially for the VPI unipivot arm on the Classic. Also, he described the trickle down technology and benefits he built into the Zephyr that are derived from the Sussurro. As much as I like the DV XX2 Mk II, if the Zephyr is as good as Im led to believe, I need to hear one in my system.
Good luck and enjoy the music!