If I were you, Focker, I'd look for a deck just like Stacker's. The Technics are excellent direct drive decks, that were made for DJs. The result is that they are damn near indestructible. They also sold like crazy, so they pop up on craigslist for ~$200-$400 often. If you can find one of the high end Regas, they're great, easily on par or better than a good Thorens or Lynn, they're all just different. The Technics was not designed to be an audiophile deck, but it has been widely adopted by audiophiles. I recently found the 1600 on craigslist for $75. If I had the time to run out there, and $75 to burn, it's a steal. The lower end of the 2M line is getting great feedback, too. The Red and Blue (I forget which, but one of those is ~$100) are supposed to be great. Another cart I hear great things about is the AT 440, I think, it's a very inexpensive high-output moving coil. I switched to HOMC a year or two ago, and love it. Also, the Denon 110 is awesome for the money, about $140. To be honest, Shure makes great stuff for the price. The lowest model Shure, the M92E, is pretty nice. It used to be easily found for ~$25. I put it on a Lenco (rebadged as a Bogen-Presto), which was popular with radio stations, and it sounded pretty great. Not quite on par with some of the others here, or even the venerable V15, but it's certainly no slouch, and isn't that far from their top of the line, M97
EDIT: In that ~$100 price range, the Sumiko Pearl sounds AMAZING!
Going vintage, if done right, can be a tremendous value. I've honestly not been so fond of the Pro-Ject decks I've seen/worked on, I'd take the Technics, or an older Lynn or Thorens any day. Not to say that they don't make good products, or aren't worth the money, I was just less impressed. I have seen some vintage decks that were pretty inexpensive which I found the be about on par with the newer Pro-Jects. I rebuilt a mid-80s Yamaha that was really nice. Also, the earlier Pioneer tables were great. There are tons of great decks out there, and if you find a great vintage one, you could get equivalent performance for a bit less.
Thanks! I'll add those to my list and keep tabs on craigs list...