Sorry to hear that the availability of Eurorack modules is such an issue for you, where you live, though Plragde is right that every where the availability of items is getting an issue.
I know you mentioned your available budget of 1 till 1.5k (which is a bit too less by the way for Eurorack), I still would like to advise you to go at least for a 3 row-rack casing if you didn't bought the casing yet, rather buy a larger rack with a fewer modules to start with than when in the near future you realise that you need more HP space, which will happen, guaranteed! ;-)
It's very difficult to advise on which modules you should take. You are totally right, the current choice of modules, though huge, it's crazy, it's close to impossible to have a good view of what is on the market and what fits one wishes, requirements, not even mentioning to make a "good" (what is good?) choice out of such a huge assortment of possible modules. I made myself a list of about 2500 modules over the last 3 years or so to try to stay focused on what I feel is kind of interesting, 2500 modules! That's crazy... out of that list of 2500 I feel it's a nightmare to make the right choice, so sometimes if I am too lazy to choose between two modules, I just take them both ;-) Then still 2498 modules left to choose from the next time... however every year so many new modules are produced that one year later there are 2698 modules to choose from, etcetera...
Here in modulargrid.net are currently a little 9700 modules listed, that's even crazier! ;-)
What I miss from your above explanation (but I might have overlooked it, so please do forgive me if I did) are filters... did you consider one or two nice filters? Well, go at least for two filters, one is just a bit too meagre, minimum is two I would say. Look into Doepfer filters they are affordable and can sound pretty well, how about that SEM filter A-106-5 which is a bit milder filter than the Wasp filter A-124, both filters are great and you can find my review report about them on my website (see link below my signature). If you allow yourself a bit more expensive filter module then consider the Erica Synths - Black Dual VCF, a serious great dual filter that can be either used in series or in parallel. There are so many filters, I can't all discuss them here :-)
Don't buy too many modules in one shot though. You need to build up experience, that costs time and once you gained some experience you will see that here and there you start to adjust your view on certain modules and that your requirements might shift a bit. I understand you are a bit limited to your shopping possibilities but still try to keep that a bit in mind.
If you go and visit one or more modular shops in the USA, then try to test as many as possible modules in those shops. Don't only buy them, testing them is so much more important to give you that first instant feeling about a module, how the user interface is, how it sounds, your first impressions are pretty important before you should buy a module. So test as many as possible modules even if you are not going to buy them, that's fine, keep testing till they close the shop or till you have to take your plane back home. Then when you come back home and start to save money again for the next batch of modules then you took valuable test experience with you that you can then use to decide for the second batch of modules what you might want to buy.
By the way, do you know the brand EMW from Brazil? Not sure if you live nearby Brazil or perhaps even in Brazil? Then perhaps, those modules might be easier for you to buy. If you don't know EMW yet, check them out, it's a Brazilian modular manufacturer who makes reasonable Eurorack modules. I consider them the kind of South-American-Doepfer :-) I have a few modules from them but it's a bit difficult to get them here in Germany. I still try to get a filter and a VCO from them.
Besides testing as many as possible modules as you can, the second best advice is to buy a bigger case if you haven't bought that yet.
Good luck, enjoy your time in the USA and enjoy the modular time in those shops :-) Kind regards, Garfield.
Nice text, really appreciate your time to help!
I know I'm a bit loose and lost in this, unfortunately I already have the case so I will be stuck at the beginning with the 2 row, and just got that because of limit desk space, my wife would kill me if I got a giant rack out of nowhere hahaha I love DIY wood work, so the next I will probably jump in that hole.
I just ordered the Squid and the Pamelas, I made some extra jobs and still have $1 to 1,2k left to play, I was thinking not to order anything more and just grab something in the spot with the advice from the sellers (hope they are nice and honest), with the schedule I just planned a trip to Perfect Circuit in LA.
It's too sad that I will travel without playing with the most part of my modules, so I will be blind with what I really need. It is not ideal, but even if I grab something not so good for my system it will have value, and eventually I could even make profit selling here, probably would take time but I never ended up stuck with nothing.
I will stick with your advice and find a good VCF, and with the advice from plragde don't invest in another voice, makes sense.
I will be there in end of May, so until then maybe I will be the boring guy asking lose and wrong questions, i'm trying not to spam anything.
Furthermore, I know the EMW stuff, here we have the Reco synth (https://www.recosynth.com/) they make an amazing analog drum machine, the Vinicius stuff (https://viniciuselectrik.com/) the order time is LONG!!! 9 months now waiting from a direct with him order and Pantalalabs (http://pantalalabs.com/) which is more to the DIY side, good price and practical. I will have one of each of them in the future, but the opportunity to buy without taxes in US is just something that never happens (it will be my first time outside my country), 3 years of work to manage the money to do it!!
A reasonable rule of thumb (not to be taken strictly) is one voice per row. I would count the Salmple as more than one voice, though it's hard to put a precise number to it. The Lizard VCO is another. Do you need more than that? If so, maybe consider the Noise Reap Paradox and the WMD C4RBN. I have read that Optomix is difficult to get hold of these days...
I considered the Optomix because they were available in Perfect circuit. Now they are out of stock :(
You are right, I will not invest in another voice, I'm going to keep reading and searching.