That's funny, I really like my 1084 clones (same pre as a 1073, but different eq points) on vocals (usually with an RE20)! I also love them on distorted guitars. Snare didn't impress me too much, though.
I'd be asking what your goals are? Are you working with clients, or your own music? Do you want to produce, or mix, or what?
One of these programs would be (just) in your budget:http://www.mixwiththemasters.com/HOME.html
Of course, I just bought a new macbook pro, which I love. Nothing like being able to do edits and such on the couch, or wherever, then go out to my mix room and hear it on the monitors!
My next purchase will probably be monitors, mine are pretty low-end (though they translate well enough, and I know them, so who knows?)