Want to start my analog journey

Ok am not in a place where I can audition turntables and phono preamps so I need some advice.

I would like a system that won't exaggerate the highs if my Thiels, but complement them with warm mids. I have a BAT vk-3ix preamp with a Parasound A21 amp and Thiel CS2.4's. Based on a total budget of $2500 i need advice on a turntable, phono preamp, a cartridge and a cable. I know it's not a lot of cash, but I will be able to upgrade cartridge and cable at a latter date so I can "sacrifice" up front a little there if it means better core gear. I'm open to new or used.
I would consider a Rega RP3 and Jolida JD9 phono pre amp. Both pieces are very musical, modern and upgradable.
You might start by looking for used phono stages that will handle low output moving coil carts. Look around the $800 price point.

For a table and cart it's hard to go wrong with a VPI Traveler and an AT-OC9ML/II. That combo is about $1700.
Use your BAT for a phono preamp. You can add a phono card to it.
Does using the BAT require it to be sent in or can I do it myself?
I believe you can install the card yourself (VK-P3). I'm not 100% sure so may want to check with BAT on this.
I just emailed BAT to check on installation.