For 10K I would do some listening personally, that's a lot of money-to me. But I also know a VPI classic would be a good place to start. If one is so naive as to not figure a few things out, to not believe everything they read- then good luck- it could get ugly. Of course sellers push their stuff, from the newest "makes fish bite" lure to speakers. That's not to say there isn't good advice out there- or excellent audio companies. All the info helps to narrow things down and then listen to the gear if possible. No one is forcing anyone to buy anything and the home stereo world is not a sea of used car salesman either. How did you listen to the Hagerman phono before you built it? jk Maybe you did but I bought one already built for small coin, a Bugle II, and it's good.