Hi Larry, and welcome.
Two of the Enco 1/2-10 acme rods I received were fine but the third rod, though it was straight, had rough top edges on the tops of the threads. I was able to clean it up by lightly stoning it with a knife sharpening stone until it was smooth.
The Xylotex board is ready to run, and the HobbyCNC needs some assembly. The HobbyCNC has some circuit chip protection features that Xylotex doesn't have. Both are very popular boards though.
You have a choice of Mach3 for WinXP (commercial) or EMC2 (opensource)for Linux Ubuntu. Mach3 is the one with the most features. Both have forums on the CNCzone.
Pumelloman and I are currently working on one of these machines.