For the sound and overall design I've been a big fan (and owner) of Well Tempered Labs turntables for quite some time. In fact I haven't found a reason to change for almost twenty years, though cartridges and phono pre-amps have come and gone along with every other piece of gear.
Just a year ago the Well-Tempered Reference TT and arm went for around $6578, which was actually up from just a few years before. The design has not changed for more than ten years, so even then I thought it was steep, despite it being a great product. Fast forward maybe 9 months and now it's up $9,450! Wow- a little good press and some general buzz sure changes things. Too bad it's again the exact same product from 10-15 years ago. If I do decide to trade up some day, it'll be a company that actually KEEPS innovating, not one that just milks old work and then raises the prices for fun.