I'm purchasing a Grizzly G0602. It's kind of a medium sized benchtop lathe. It seems to have a fair amount more ability than the 500-600 dollar lathes. There are also a few people doing cnc conversions on here to get ideas from. I was skeptical of buying the smaller lathes, because I was afraid I would grow out of it and want something larger too quickly. It seems like a good middle ground
It really just depends on what you are going to make on them I guess. I do plan on converting mine almost immediately......but I'll have to use it in manual mode to make some parts first.