@Sweden. Good call. I totally agree with BH. I've seen head only pieces list close to 3k USD without B&P. I'm not stuck on papers for older models particularly but the bracelet is pretty important.
Edit: it also depends which serial. As Dino has mentioned previously, SEL bracelets are preferable and they do sell for a bit more.
Under 2k sports watch is where I am looking right now for my next watch. If used is ok, I would look at Longines, Omega and Tudor although they might push your limit slightly over. Several German brands including SInn, Stowa and Junghans can also be found new under 2k.
I misread the post. I thought it was the crystal with the water spots and I am not sure if they can clean those or it is a dial replacement. It is not an easy call to swap out the dial since it's no longer original but I would think it would have to go to an RSC for those parts.
The only real pilot I knew sported a Casio. Everyone loves IWC for the heritage but like you guys are saying, most wear a GMT of some sort. I lusted after the Sinn 856 for some time thinking it was the perfect travel/flight watch but discovered with a few more bucks, the Rolex Explorer II is much more versatile (or the GMT).
X-33 is kind of cool though I would never buy one.