here's a list of MY observations between the WTA and Classic 1 with the Soundsmith Counter-Intuitive (you'd be crazy not to spend $50 on this).
sound - yes, in the end the most important thing and the WTA wins. better bass, more life-like, more texture, more detail, smoother, blacker background (except one thing, see below!). I thought the VPI sounded amazing, and I still think it does, the WTA just cranks it up a notch or two. it has that magic that really draws you in. I think I have reached the end of the line as far as tables go.
belt - in reference to the above post about blacker background, the belt makes noise every time that stupid knot passes around! at first I was like "what's all this static popping with no record playing?". then I turned on the light and can see it's all related to the belt. what am I doing wrong here? I can't imagine people would put up with this and not comment on it. it also looks pretty darn retarded seeing a knot and the loose ends spinning around the platter.
feet - I can't stand tables that don't have adjustable feet. my audio rack is very heavy and not easy to level out to perfection. WTA gets a minus for not being adjustable but VPI gets a minus too since the nubs on the bottom of the feet are of such a hard compound that I see it scarred my table top from twisting them.
VTA - definitely better on the VPI with the ships wheel adjustment. loosen an allen bolt, spin the wheel, and you raise and lower the arm exactly where you want it with no disruption to other settings. on the WTA you are adjusting the height of the suspension post, which also twists as you are trying to get it where you want it, not to mention messes with the height of the ball in the cup. it's also not easy to move in tiny increments.
VTF - definitely better on the VPI since you have 3 levels of adjustment. put the weight in roughly the right spot, slide the Counter-Intuitive to get it exact or very close (and be able to reference a marking where it is), then use the bolt at the end of the tonearm for ultra fine zeroing in. on the WTA you are left with only the weight and no point of reference for marking your spot.
azimuth - better on the VPI if you are doing it only by sight, but if you have a fozgometer it shouldn't matter much. again it's nice though being able to reference the markings on the Counter-Intuitive. to me it seems like it would be difficult to get the azimuth perfect on the WTA by sight. I did my VPI by sight using the supplied balance beam and an index card. I was able to get it to near perfect compared to what the fozgometer said.
cartridge alignment - man, this is one huge plus of the WTA! I have very shaky hands, especially when trying to concentrate on something, so installing carts has always been tough for me. sometimes I would spend hours trying to get it perfect. with the WTA you bolt it on and go, a matter of seconds. I thought for sure my Zephyr would run into issues with not having the right overhang since on my VPI it sits way back in the headshell. not at all, it seems to work perfect.
tonearm wiring - partially due to my shaky hands, but this stuff is scary thin. I thought for sure I was going to break it. the WTA and VPI have similar metal mini DIN connectors that plug into a jack on the table. the VPI has a better connector. it snaps in with an audible click and has a sturdier connection than the WTA. there's also marks showing you how to line it up. I'm sure the WTA is making a fine connection, but it's just kind of wiggly sitting there. not exactly confidence inspiring.
power switch - my god, how VPI can sell (and keep selling) a $2750 turntable that has a huge POP if you cut the power without being muted is beyond me. I've heard there's a $1 fix that VPI tells people to make by using a cap from Radio Shack. why would they not install this themselves? I'd sometimes forget to mute before shutting off, thankfully the WTA does not have this issue.
construction - both tables are well made with decent materials (they're not a Rega). I like the look of the VPI, but the WTA is better in person than I thought it would be. might be nice having a table where there's no chance of throwing my back out from lifting it. the VPI is a beast.