I didn't: I bought a Systemdek iix instead!!!!
Sorry for being provocative, especially as a newbie, but in 1986, with the salary of my first proper job burning a hole in my pocket, I started to read up and research audio equipment to replace my cheap (but decent) Hitachi turntable and Sony amp. I couldn't afford an LP12, I also had a lot of singles at the time and the Linn was strictly 33 1/3 in those days, and What Hifi were constantly emphasing the Planer 3 as the budget turntable, and it did look fantastic too.
I booked an appointment with Doug Brady in Warrington with a view to buying the Rega, with a better amp to follow asap. I had no idea what auditioning really meant, but I recall that this young, slightly geeky salesman sat me down and offered me the choice of the Rega Planer 3, the Systemdek and a Revolver (anyone remember that one? Made in Warrington as I recall).
In all honesty, after 25 years, I can't really recall what the sonic differences were, but I do recall the Systemdek, with a Linn LVX, sounded the best to me, despite my misgivings over price (and extra £30 I think), and looks. I have grown to appreciate the Systemdek's looks over the years, but I still think that Rega turntables look fantastic.
I still have the Systemdek, recently restored and running, but within 12 months I had left my job (Policeman) and used my returned pension funds to buy a LP12. In some ways I regret that, not that I don't love my LP12 (which I also still have), but because the Systemdek was good enough, and the Linn took me down an expensive road of constant upgrading. I have a Rega Radio 3 tuner, and that's a great bit of kit if that's any consolation.