As I don't live in the USA nor Europe, it's difficult for me to find decent hi-fi components. So far, my JVC QL-A5 turntable is great (the technics I've ordered were in very bad shape). But yes, I've decided not to buy the Kenwood. A friend of mine is looking for some vintage amps that could be decent (marantz for example).
I would love to go to a store and find the Marantz PM 5004 just sitting there, waiting to be bought, but unfortunately in Argentina that doesn't happen. The only way is to order it via Amazon, but my country has severe restrictions regarding foreign products, and the price could go much higher than $420. Of course, I would love to start my home audio using new components, but the only way to do that here is to start with vintage gear, and then when I have the money I could order them.
Just where do you live? It's useful to know when it comes to prices and availability.
I don't see that a tight budget requires you to go vintage. indeed, some vintage stuff is quite expensive. The cheapest and best route is to buy quality stuff from the 90s and naughties through Ebay. You can get good Marantz, Denon, Rotel and NAD integrated amps maybe 10 years old for very little. Alternatively many home theatre receivers have a great sound--something like a Marantz SR4400, which you could get for maybe $150. These are beautifully built, have every convenience, including remote, and should give you no trouble in terms of servicing. Frankly, I just don't see where vintage comes into this equation.