I am new to this too tho have been trying to learn for a long time.
What sort of pic projects do you do? I used to do a fair bit of pic stuff but I could never get into assembly and using a higher language felt like a waste on the ickle pic.
I now use Propeller and SX chips, my main aim for the cnc machine is for pcb's to help make my projects.
Welcome back btw, do you intend to build your own machine?