I am also a newb, but it sounds like I have slightly more experience. That experience is with a Taig mill though (which is very small compared to the NM-200 so may be a "whole different ball game").
Here's what I like about the kits...
- They do seem to have a lot of stuff that you will probably buy anyway.
- Since they'll be shipped with the mill the kit probably wont add much to the shipping charge. Ordering the parts from other companies will incur high shipping costs - the kits avoid these costs.
- The Pro Kit comes with additional drives. Gecko 203Vs are great drives and having Novakon install and set them up for you is a bonus.
Here's what I don't like about the kits...
- The prices don't seem to be that great. I didn't look that close at each component though - I could be wrong about this.
- Clamping kits are available from pretty much every machining-related site I can recall. You'll have no problem acquiring a clamping kit, at a competitive price, from somewhere else.
- The vise does not have a single-piece fixed jaw. Since I'm not certain I'm using the correct terminology here let me explain it... The fixed jaw of the vise (the jaw that doesn't move) is a separate piece of metal that is bolted to the base. This is an undesirable trait as far as I understand. A lot of people here seem to buy GMT vises, they're suppose to be excellent quality and the price is similar to what Novakon charges for their vise as a separate item.
Glacern Machine Tools - GPV-615 Premium Vise
I'm also thinking about getting a similar vise from Shars
shars.com - 6quot SPV615 CNC Milling Machine Vise 00004quot
Shars may not have the best reputation, but the vise I use on my Taig is from Shars - I think the quality is outstanding. The vise I linked above comes with an inspection sheet - which means you will know exactly how accurate your vise is. If I found out GMT supplies an inspection sheet I would probably buy their vise instead as they have a very good reputation here on CNCZone.
- The quick change kit is very expensive compared to similar kits from GMT and MariTool. Again, I haven't added up every component so maybe the 'kit discount' make the price competitive. GMT and MariTool are trusted companies with high-quality tools.
- Digital caliper - helpful if you don't have one, of little use if you do have one. Also, depending on your situation you may want a different brand caliper.
- Drill chuck - do you need a keyless AND a non-keyless drill chuck? (As a newb I honestly don't know the answer to this question, but I would guess you don't.)
- Collets are available from MariTool and GMT - I don't know the price differential but I do know MariTool and GMT are known to produce high quality parts.
- The keyless drill chuck doesn't look as good as MariTool or GMT's.
- boring tool, tapping head, taps - all things that can be bought later and from better known companies (if you want). I haven't used a tap on a mill yet, but I've read peoples' comments about them and "they" have given me the impression that taps are something that you don't want to "save a couple bucks on".
- ER20 collet holder - this is another item you can get from MariTool/GMT if you need one.
- Set screw holder - MariTool/GMT. Personally I'm going to try to only use collet adapters with my NM-200. Collets hold the endmill tighter and are also very precise. Also, if you buy these from someplace else you can choose the sizes you want.
- I don't know much of anything about rotary tables or jaws/chucks. Personally, I ordered the 8" table and plan to also order the jaw. I don't know if what Novakon is selling is any good, how it compares to other rotary tables, or if the price is reasonable. I ordered from Novakon because I know it'll work and since they're very heavy having them come with the mill should save me some money.
Here's my take on the included endmills: if the endmills that come with the kit are very good you're left with either buying more from Novakon (which means you'll have to pay the tariff and wait for them to be shipped from Canada), find them at another store, or try something different anyway. If they're no good they're a waste of money.
Also, since you're getting a collection of endmills you are almost sure to be buying endmills you don't need. You're also almost surely going to want some other kind of endmill that you'll need to purchase from somewhere else. Check out... MariTool (again) or...
End Mills, Burrs, Carbide Router Bits
LakeShore Carbide.com Carbide End Mills-Carbide Thread Mills
LakeShore Carbide is my current favorite endmill source. In addition to quality endmills American Carbide sells carbide drills, which I like a lot.