Monster Vault Vs Monster Manuals

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Hey there,

Looking at more things with a mind on buying ;) 

Whats the difference between the Voault and the Manuals(apart from the tokens)

Does the vault correspond to say, Manual 1 and 2?  Am I missing out on certain monsters if I buy the vault?  Etc Etc

Most of the monsters in MV are updated versions of the monsters in Monster Manual 1. They are waaaaay better designed, MV is an amazing book to own as a DM.
The Monster Vault and MV2 (along with MM3 and Dark Sun Creature Catalog) have updated stats/monsters.  However, there are still monsters to be found in MM1 and MM2 that are not available yet.  You can try and update them yourself (I've yet to do that with everything). 
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If you're buying, and only looking at 1-2 things, I'd recommend the "Monster Vault" (box) first, and then either the "Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale" book or the Monster Manual 3 book as the second option.

Threats is probably the better choice if you're focusing on low level play. The Dark Sun Creature Catalog probably isn't a good choice if you're just getting started in 4E (which it seems is the case, based on other threads).
I have all of the Monster books, and love them all. But dollar for dollar, you just can't beat the Monster Vault. Not just for the tokens (although I bought a second MV just for the tokens!) but because it puts in one place enough updated, damage- and stat-adjusted monsters to play the game for years without having to buy another supplement ever. (Won't stop me from buying more anyway, but that's just me.)
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Vault it is.  Doubt I will ever use the tokens, as I have a rather extensve warhammer collection(mainly collected for Quest). 
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