As far as any definitive answer that would solve your dilemma, I don’t know. I also don’t know where you are in the country, but here in the Midwest I’m aware of at least four record shops within a 2–3 hour drive. (Mostly in college towns, but there’s a couple in the city of Chicago as well.) As in, places that opened in the 1970’s and still sell… records, aisles and aisles of records. I would suggest trying a store like that and asking their advice.
The last time I was in the one in my town, they carried 3–4 different models of new record players, ranging from about $40 to $120. They also had used turntables — the ones they were featuring were the oldest models. Like, the ones that look like they would weigh 200 pounds and built of solid steel or titanium or something — the kind that manufacturers built in the 1970s and 1980s that are still going strong and have amazing sound quality.
So… maybe plan a road trip or weekend vacation around a record store trip? Call one or two and see what they suggest? Or even try eBay. There have got to be some blogs or Reddit communities where people talk about brands and models (whether old or new) that are good ones.