What makes a Cd player a Great cd player

Can someone please explain to me what a great cdp do that a good cdp wont do? Is the purpose to make what has actually been recorded sound better, or to merly expose what has been recorded?
If I was to spend 2 to 3k on a cd player, will it even come close to the sound of Vinyl, or will I get the realism that I get from vinyl.

I would echo Jmcgrogan2's succinct answer to your question: No.

That's not to say it won't sound good, but it won't sound like vinyl. If that is the primary goal for your investment then I'd agree with Tvad - spend your money elsewhere.

If you do a search on your question you will find it is a very common query/debate. Much like tubes vs solid state, you'll find plenty of arguments on both sides.
1. you can try to audition brands that are famous for making turntable, these brands tune their cdp based on vinyl sound, u could look around linn, roksan, rega etc. u could get them used under a grand.
2. think about what it is about vinyl sound you like, you want natural, cdp can do natural, you want laid back, warm, dynamic, etc i think cdp thesedays can do pretty good job on those things, but you can't expect microwave food to taste the same as can food, both are processed but done differently.
My take on this is, the sound is dependable on the type of disc, some certainly sound better with vinyl(recorded back in the early days before digital was introduced), now with sacd/cd format, when matched carefully, u can have a top notch system with cdp, like others suggested, it might be harder to get the sound u want upgrading/changing cdp with that budget, than the rest of your system.
I agree with Grannyring,

"A great CD player does not attack you with music, or hyper detail. Rather, it fills the room with pleasing music that is never hard on the ears and always draws you into the music."

There is too much emphasis on resolution and transparency. Resolution and transparency mean nothing without magic, the magic that sucks you into the music and holds you there. This is what a high end component should do.

Whether you prefer vinyl or digital is a matter of taste. I have heard both sound good. A lot of it has to do with which source you based your system on.
My goal is getting the front end to sound neither digital or analog.

I spend a lot of time listening to my buddies Walker and he comes by to listen to my modded CEC and custom Dac, comparing the same LPs and CDs (yes, I know about crappy mixdowns in the studios, it happens on both sides of the fence)

IMHO, good CD can equal/beat LP up to a certain level.

Once you get into an upper turntable/cart setup and a great LP recording, we hear bigger dynamics and contrasts within the same music my digital can't reach.

Pretty much all else being equal, we have the same musical tastes, but our sources are from different planets, getting closer to each other in many ways, FWIW, YMMV.