I appreciate the ways of the old machinists and learned on a South Bend Heavy 10. There is a joy in manual machining and I love when I do have a task to complete. That's why a lot of people are here in the first place. But once I start thinking "hmm need to make 100 of this. And 200 of that. And that's a few times a year, or more. And then start a whole different design with its own set of parts? How many machines do we have again? I just can't see a place in modern competitive manufacturing where a young guy who never worked in a machine shop picks up a manual turret lathe and within a few months, while doing 20 other things, just busts out 1200 parts that are all dead nuts and just work with perfect interchangeably. But with CNC you can kinda do that. Of course I do know a few people who have a lot of experience running CNC machines for many many years, so those are my old masters in any case. Most of these parts are detailed pneumatic parts with bores, o-ring glands, threads, etc. There's springs, minor tapers of a half-degree, all with tolerances of half-thou all around. I've got a spool valve inside a piston that's also inside another valve, all of which is being shuttled back and forth at 5-10 cycles per second; with a check valve integrated on the side. It's all gotta work perfect in harmony. I know I can get a good machine and program it to make the parts to within the specs, because there's other companies making similar products doing just that. All of them have long ago stepped away from the manual machines. In any case what I look for with CNC is I can do my figuring over time at a screen, with snacks and a beer and good music on my headphones. And then in the morning I go to start the machine, load the material, press a button and then walk away to do other tasks. At least for 10-20 minutes or so at a time, sometimes longer. And then come back and load another bar of material, repeat, repeat, so-on. I like the anecdote of one guy who never was a machinist before in his life. Bought a single used vertical mill. Set it up. Made a pallet system for it, set it to run in the morning for a 4-hour cycle, and then went to the beach to surf until lunch. Now he runs a business making those pallets for others and runs a very lean and clean shop. Someone onto the right idea. We have the tech to let the robots do the work. My hope is that more people use this power to not worry about the lack of jobs and work for them to do, and use it to make their lives better. A small group of individuals has unprecedented resources and capabilities in manufacturing and it's pretty exciting to see what comes of it. That said, for the hobbyist, there's certainly a lot of fun running a compact machine. I'm still gonna go out and say one of these: https://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-1022v-pm-1030v/ would be what I go for if I was looking for something like a mini-lathe.