IMHO the best and most useful feature or option to include is an AVTHC. I didnt buy one with my system and that has been the only shortcoming I have encountered with the machine ever. If I had it to do again, everything else would be the same, just add the height control and you are done. The add-on font and sign maker modue is a good deal and adds some more versatility as well as the aftermarket DXF files from Red Pup and others as spare coin permits. All in all I would suggest getting the biggest physical table size you can afford and include the above extras and you will have a killer system. The grin factor has never worn off, and I have had my machine since before Mikes first child was born, way back when.... As far as a Plasma cutter goes, I would stick with a hypertherm due to the continous product upgrades and their commitment to quality as well as easy to change and relatively inexpensive consumables. As a minimum I would stay with larger american made plasma machines for support and demonstrated life span, there are some imports available that seem to be coming around well, but I am just a little cautious till they get a little more time in the market before I recomend them. Maybe in a couple of years or so but just not yet for me. I have a PM 1000 G3 with Machine torch and have fine cut as well as standard tips and the edge quality and over all quality of cut I get is pretty close to perfect. I can cut from sub 14 Ga to 7/8th's all day without a hiccup, just change material and dial it in according to the manual settings and go from there. Once you get a little cut time, you will learn what adjustments to make and when to make them and the end result is nearly perfect in just about every way. Hope this helps... And all of the "dont work for or benefit from" disclaimers apply.