Here's some background of where I'm coming from and how I landed on the PM-1030v as a first machine to get: While I can't afford to just buy a professional machine shop, I can see the value in paying more for good tools that will last a bit longer and be less likely to be outgrown very quickly. As I suspect is typical for many people new to this hobby, I ended up looking at Grizzly's options and sorting by price, low to high. Honestly the micro lathe was tempting at first due to price, figuring since I would be working on some small stuff for the most part, but the lack of power made me quickly realize, a 7X was the bare minimum I should consider. So from that, I looked at the G0765 from Grizzly. For $615, it seems a reasonable first machine. But after replacing the dumb bearings and plastic spindle gears, you're out a fair amount of time and even more money. Add on the needed 4 jaw, QCTP, and some essential tooling, and shipping, and you're at $1000 very quickly. Once you hit $1000, you can consider the basic bigger 8X and 9X Lathes from Grizzly that come with a 3 And 4 jaw, bigger motors, etc. I looked at every model and read every review I could find and the bigger options just seemed like a better value, especially when so many people just use a 7X as a stepping stone. I read every review and comparison I can and watched many videos, loving Frank Hoose of Mini-Lathe.com's stuff and soaked up a bunch of his info. After several weeks of reading/watching, I looked at the LMS5100/5200, which seemed nice, but I didn't see the value in spending so much for a 7X machine (especially after buying a 4 jaw for it) and had nearly talked myself into the G0752 10x22 Variable Speed option from Grizzly for $1795 when I stumbled upon Precision Matthews and the 10X options after watching Frank's review of his 1228. The PM-1022V and 1030V seem like the best value, spec wise for a new machine that I can find, especially the 1030v. It has: 8" more length than the G0752 includes a QCTP and the power cross feed alone is worth the $200 upgrade. A lower minimum rpm (50 vs 100) is nice as well. In fact, the only thing I can find that seems to be a "downgrade" from the G0752 is a smaller 4 jaw on the PM (6.5" vs 5"), but 5" is still way nicer than the 3" or 4" on the 7x options, AND the PM was basically quick change chuck, something I know would have annoyed me on the 7x lathes after seeing how tight the clearance was on those bolts. I'd love to jump again to the 1127 or 1228, but I'm already at $2500 tooled up for the 1030 after telling my wife "oh, around $1000", but that was a month ago when I figured starting with a cheap one would be fine. Jumping another $1k to go to the 1127 and 1228 would be pushing it, and I'd rather use that money towards a mill. Ok, so PM-1030V as a good starter lathe that won't be outgrown within the first year or two? Maybe even put a CNC conversion on it down the road? Is it worth almost double the money of an LMS 5100 for some 1.5" and under turning? My plan was to put whatever I get on something like this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-52-in-11-Drawer-Mobile-Workcenter-48-22-8552/300891919 That would match my tool chest and give ample storage for tooling, accessories, and some of the other tools I own without a home. I'd consider replacing or adding a steel plate to the top for additional rigidity if needed.