What's my next evolution in the analog venture?

What does $1000-1500 gain me? Are new TT's in that price range going to significantly (subjective I know) step over my Technics? I have approx. 300 records and adding quite frequently to that. I listen to everything from Miles, Norah, George Strait, Phil Collins and anything classic rock (Journey, Triumph, Boston, Etc.)

My current setup consists of:

Technics SL 1700 (original) w/Ortofon om40 cart
MF V-LPS phono
Rotel integrated and cd player
B&W 685's
AntiCable and Signal Cable speaker wire and interconnects
You can easily get something that sounds a lot better, but you may not like it. Along with increased resolution, a new TT will also make you more aware of things like surface noise. It won't be as forgiving as your current setup. If you know someone that has a TT in your price range, I would see if you can borrow it for a day or two.
buy more lps and keep your table for now...
There is always trade-offs within the audio world I suppose. Increased resolution=good while less forgiving=not so good.

Currently I don't know anyone with a newer or higher end vintage TT. I have a couple of friends with less expensive units that they rarely use.
"Along with increased resolution, a new TT will also make you more aware of things like surface noise. It won't be as forgiving as your current setup."

A "better" turntable (or analog front end which includes, table, arm, cartridge and phono preamp) will indeed offer increased resolution.

But it will NOT "make you more aware of things like surface noise". On the contrary, a better analog front end will make surface noise less noticeable for a number of reasons.
Along with increased resolution, a new TT will also make you more aware of things like surface noise.

Has not been my experience at all.

+1 to what HDM says.

Zd542 - What table/arm/cartridge are you using ?
I agree with HDM My vinyl is about as quiet as my CD player...except for the scratches...(just talking surface noise.)
Maybe I made a mistake. When I say surface noise I'm referring to things like tick's and pop's. If thats what we are talking about, in my experience, I find that type of noise increases with resolution.
I appreciate all thoughts and opinions. I guess upgradeitis is kicking in and thought I might venture further down the analog path while completely understanding that there is always a point of diminished returns when it comes to audio equipment and money spent.

My current system sounds good but obviously it could sound better. Better meaning more money spent on higher performing equipment usually.
I have found that the better my table, the less noise I hear. Unless you are referring to gouges and scratches, a good table/arm/cartridge will tend to be quieter in the groove and thereby offer greater dynamic range. My table is basically as quiet as my cd player, which I never use anyway.
Take your $1500, sell your technics and add that to your fund, and buy something around $2000 used and you will have entered the better world of analog. You could pick up a Sota Star, VPI Classic, Oracle Delphi or Basis 2001 for that amount, each of which would be superior to your Technics. Get a nice MM like Clearaudio Virtuoso or Ortofon 2m Black or MC like Dynavector 10x5 or 17d which would mate well with that level of system.
I recently switched out turntables from a KAB modded Technics 1200 mk2 to a new VPI Traveler with Ortofon 2m Blk. The difference is not subtle and I now find myself playing more records than ever. It is more revealing but it's the music that is being revealed, the snap crakle and pop seems to be on a different plane and not as noticable. Records that I am familiar with are more lively with better bass control and vocals are more fluid and realistic. Much as I love my KAB 1200 the Traveler is a clear improvement and worth the extra $. Traveler was $1300 and 2m Black brought it to $2000, I am selling the Technics for $650 so net difference is $1350 and I feel it is worth it.
Well, I would spend the $1,500 on a used phono stage.
No point in upgrading to a lot better TT with the inexpensive phono stage you have.
Were a lot better phono stage will make the TT/cart you now have sound better.
So my vote goes to buying a phono box with your $1,500.
Then, when you want a better TT you will be really ready for it.
I may just hold off for a while. A new TT is one thing. Then I will want to purchase a new cart and then a new phono stage and then the next thing I know.....I've spent double my budget. I've been there done that in the home theater realm.