I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the Ayre P5xe may be the best at anywhere near this price point(and much higher). First of all, I'm not a P5xe owner(GCPH) but I've been researching phono stages for a couple years and it seems the only one with close to everything you need in a phono stage.
-Adequate gain for any cartridge
-potential for balnaced and single ended connections(in and out)
-loading options(it falls down a bit here in terms of convenience but there is a wide variety of options)
This last point is the most frustrating for me on even mega expensive stages. Take, for example, the $12,000.00 Audio Teckne currently highly touted by TAS and sure to have a glowing review coming soon. RIAA on this unit varies by +-1.5db. Doesn't sound bad at first but this is huge. By comparison, the $2500 P5xe varies by only +- .05db. My GCPH, also dead quiet and very flexible, +-.1db.
For these reasons, I would recommend looking more closely at these two moderately priced units. More money may get you less flexibility and more coloration and not much else. Need more than one phono input? How about 2 or even 3 P5xes. You still come in at less than a megabuck phono. Anyway, this is where I've ended up so far. I feel the P5xe is vastly underestimated because of it's modest price. Of course YMMV.