I have many people who know I still play much vinyl ask where can they get turntables these days. They are not audiophiles, but have record collections they have gotten from friends, or from relatives. They are amazed that vinyl is still alive and growing. It is just not growing at Best Buy.
To get the most from vinyl you must ante-up $$$ to achieve great results. Often, to me, a $500-$1K cd player sounds better than a like amount of tt. With a good table, cartridge, and phono stage LP's are still very magical, but it takes more work that just opening a drawer and hitting PLAY. Not many can go to Simon Yorke land like MF, but I do enjoy my Rega P3 in my main system.
I just bought a used Project One/DR220 table (mint condition) from an estate sale for $50 and I had an old Stanton 881S in a drawer. It has become part of my vintage '70's system in my office of a Hafler amp, Hafler DH101 with 2, yes two, phono inputs, and my trusty 25+ year old 12" 3-way AR 58's (woofers refoamed). I also use an old NAD cassette deck as well as a Sony DAT. I occasionally use it for a back-up recording source for location recording I do for clients.
I am using this to remind me of why I got into this hobby in the first place and that, yes, even this old gear sounds very, very good. I have many friends who admit their current systems do not sound as good as this vintage gear.
The Hafler DH101 phono stages are not class A "Phile", but my biggest problem is that the playback quality of vinyl pressings is all over the place from bad to very good like from Telarc and others. Many times it is not a poor pressing, but a great performance that keeps us hooked. Other times the recording and pressing is so well done that the sonics alone have us into the performace.
I still believe that SACD offers the greatest sonic benefits if done right and played through something other than an entry level DVD player. Even I could win a DBT between cd and SACD. I eargerly await JA's first SACD release.