VPI Scoutmaster - Reviews
Pros: Terrific value in a real high-end turntable
Cons: Arm/cartridge set-up a bit tricky; motor required good physcial isolation
I have had my Scoutmaster for about 6 months.  I've been enjoying it mightily. 
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The Scoutmaster's most noticeable sonic trait is that it provides an incredibly quiet, deep-black background.  With my Benz LP-S, the sound is effortless, organic, and startlingly full-range.  Bass is amazingly solid and deep.  Midrange and treble are pure analog - which is to say, astoundingly lifelike.
VPI's are a tiny bit tricky to set up, but I have some experience with them, having had an original Aries before.  After I got it all dialed in, it's been a trouble-free performer.
At it's price point, only VPI's own Classic competes, IMO.  Beyond that, you have to spend MUCH more to get a competitive sound.