Rega is a very decent manufacturer that has done the record industry a tremendous deal of good, not just by it's designs but also by it's attitude. And how this proves to be the smart choice in the end. The Rega arm (+fitting) is a de facto standard, and since copying is the ultimate compliment, it is also good publicity for them. In the end it helps their reputation as well as their sales. Manufacturers (of confectioned goods, not customwares) that allow customers to tweak and upgrade their products to this extent (selling parts and thus service) is a rare thing - in the whole world! I think it is marvelous that a manufacturer generously allows competitors to buy parts and improve their ideas. And in the process helps them get new ideas and feedback on their products.
That all said, Rega is still a UK manufacturer. And that means; reputation. Just like German, Italian or Japanese. Or US.
Warning: sarcastic generalisations ahead! (take with a rock of salt and a sense of humor ).
German often means: sturdy, well designed, no frills. Italian means; "oh look at me" "Oh no it broke". Japanese: this is perfect, you can buy, only this price (until there is a defect, than an executive takes all the blame in a filled pressroom while bending over and crying profoundly and heartfelt). In the US (do I dare say this?) we are biggest, best, strongest and the intelligentest of the whole world. Big bold and cluncky. But it (doesn't) allways work(s). And then there is the English way. They are smart thinkers and bright tinkerers. But shoddy manufacturers and finishers (is the pub open yet?). Oh, and I forgot Chinese: You want this? We can make it for you (and copy your designs and sell them + QC fails on the black market).
All over the world there are dreamers, thinkers, artists, craftsmen, merchants and conmen. Unfortunately one can't do without the other. And don't forget transport...
Most of the time I must agree with analogsurviver. Like up^
Just, a few posts back where he commented on belts... that was kind of a booboo. The belt has nothing to do with the right speed. You can use a rubberband, a fishingline, a rope or a cable, the speed is determined only by the speed of the motor devided by the ratio of the two wheelsizes ((sub)platter / pulleysize).
Pulleysize x motorspeed == plattersize x platterspeed. No strings attached. :P