I'd buy the RP1 without hestatation. I went through all of the same things 5 years ago when I was doing turntable searches for about a year. It always kept coming back to Rega so I bought a p1 which has since been replaced by the RP1. I have a glass platter, a white belt, a homemade cork platter mat, and for the past 2 years having been using a Nagaoka MP110. The table sings! The Nag MP110 gives it punch!I'm amazed, as well as others who've listened to it, as to the amount of detail that comes out of this table - way beyond my wildest expectations. I've seen people, and have done so myself, get up and walk to the table. I ask them what's wrong. They answer that they are hearing things in the music they've never heard before! I listen while working at the computer and very often look over to the table and think, "That's my table producing that music!?" Go for the Rega! In lists of TT ownership there must be a reason that Rega is number 2! Now that Technics is no longer producing tables Rega is number one in sales of new tables! I suspect that most Rega consumers are satisfied. We always hear from those who have a problem or an issue while those who don't have an issue remain silent. Because of its design the p1 needs no spacers for other carts; I'm not sure if that holds true of the RP1 which has a slightly different arm. To see if you would need spacers under the tonearm base use a 3 by 5 lined index card to see if your arm is level with another cart/stylus sitting on an lp. If level, you need no spacers. Knowing what I know now and if just starting out as I did then, I'd buy the RP1. I also highly also suggest the Nagaoka MP110 for an MM cart and the Denon DL110 for an MC cart. For what it's worth, I also own a Technics 1200 MKII table. To me, the Rega has a more natural analog sound, but they are quite different breeds of cat!