The Zen of encoding to digital
what a big topic!!
Encoding for archival means that you want to be able to enjoy this for years to come; this in turn means to be able to do it in a format that will not sound ridiculous in the future. (like CD's do, 44.1 KHz, 16-bit, yuck, my ears are irritatedly remembering all this edgy digital harshness on a sound system) Please don't think about MP3 except as a painful toy. Anyone really wanting to DJ in a club with MP3's is obviously in need of a serious reality check. (well, for some the fashion quota has always been far more important than the content...)
I am in the process of doinf this myself, and chose 24-bit, 96 KHz as my baseline, which appears to be a format which will probably still be relevant 10 years from now. 24-bit and 192 KHz would be optimal, but very expensive right now, as only a couple of systems allow this, (Digidesign ProTools HD and MOTU's new one) and both extremely pricey.
There are many products to choose from to accomplish this, from very reasonable to extremely expensive.
Regarding the turntable, the combination of cartridge and so on, you seem on the right path. There is without question much better stand-alone outboard phono preamplifiers than the Rane. (that's for sure) Many can be bought on eBay for very cheap (UREI, Stanton, Shure, all made one) You can also go audiophile (Mark Levinson, Krell, Linn, etc...)
As for the D/A converter, too many to choose from. Pick one such as the Apogee 'Rosetta' that is seriously rated by pros. Equally important to get great sounds is to pack optimum levels before hitting digital , which is why the Aogeee's 'Soft Limit' feature is so great.
You are only getting 24 bits if you hit maximum level (-0.1 dB for the purpose of this talk) If the level is - 3 dB, you are only getting 20 bits.... and so on.
Then comes the question of what software to use to edit, trim, maxime and de-click your digital recordings. Spark or Peak (OS-X) or Sonic Foundry (Windows) both do the job.
Lastly, an application to play those recordings back. Personally, I bet my money on 'Traktor' by Native Instruments. (Windows or Mac)The program is undergoing tremendous development right now, and although they can't play 24bit-96K files as of yet, they should be able to in a matter of months. (They also just merged with 'Final Scratch', for those who crave a vinyl controller)
Not mentioned in this post would be the amount of storage you will need (at 24-96, 1 Gig of Hard drive space should yield betwen 4 and 6 songs) I currently see 200 Gig hard drives fro $250. Then you would be a total fool not to consider investing in a backup system after spending that much time doing your encoding. There it gets a little stickier, personally I think that DLT is very safe and reliable, but comparatively expensive. (This is a whole other topic; however note that if you encode and don't backup you can lose everything in a few milliseconds---scary stuff---)
More to all this, but this should spark an interesting dialog from others who have the same experience with different gear.
Doing all this for $800 will not be possible, although acquiring most of the gear used from reputable people (Ebay for example) should help make it a reality. However, what I mentioned above should stand scrutiny on a sound system any size, and be a very enjoyable music collection for many years to come.