Francis - I love the stories ! Made my evening end on a humorous note. I was born in 1955, but being precocious, I heard all the high end stuff you did and became obsessed. Life changed when I heard an LP-12 turntable for the first time at Jeff's old store in Webster Groves.
For the record, I HAD four turntables up to New Year's Eve when I decided this was madness and I carted to littlest one (a working Beogram 3000 with an SP-12A cartridge) to Goodwill to get a tax deduction. The simple truth is, a man can only listen to one TT at a time.
I have a Denon DP-75 with a Mission Mechanic tonearm and a Clearaudio Maestro MM and it sounds magnificent, BUT, I listen to it once a month at most. (The VPI and the SOTA get most of the vinyl airtime, but even they rarely displace the Sonos streamer.).
Still - to provide motivation for your journey - the Denon has the best bass I've heard from a TT. If you can fix the one you found, go for it. As for the arm, the Jelco's really aren't too bad and they are a good buy. I think this combo could give your "classic" Thorens some competition !