To follow up on the recent post, and to cover what I finally went with:
The thicknesser (planer) is as mentioned the 15″ 381. With a retail price of $1600 (minus their current offer of 10% off or a free dust extractor or something), it is more than something like the Triton 15″ (which was retailing at $1000, and can take moulding blades), but boy do you get a lot of machine for your money! It is, I am lead to believe, very very similar to the Grizzly 15″ Planer – the GO453. Other than the colour, I’d struggle to be able to tell them apart (not even sure I could).
I did buy the WDS400 in the end – there was a lot of umming and ahhring (and not it wasn’t “Speak Like a Pirate Day”), but in the end, there isn’t another machine out there that comes close in price, and it is a 16/32 drum sander (for some reason it has been metricised) (I don’t know if that is a word, but it sounds good). I did take into account the many opinions that were kindly offered – these were probably as much the cause of much of my uncertainty, and also my decision to proceed. See, I listen to everyone, but in the end I have to make a final call, and in this case it was “suck and see”.
I also added the mortising attachment for the drill press. I was thinking of a dedicated machine, but we’ll see how much demand there is for little investment before forking out for yet another machine that I am rapidly running out of room to house!
And finally, (and most importantly?!) I went with the Foxtel IQ2 for a DVR. Strange decision for me perhaps, but by juggling my account requirements, I ended up getting it and actually having the overall package costing $5 less per month than what I currently pay. And how is that related to woodworking? Simple – this thing has quad tuners in it. This means I can record the various woodworking shows when they come on Foxtel (or free to air (except channel 7 (currently), and not have to compromise shed time (or the other things we want to watch and/or record). As with the other decisions, I did note and investigate the various other options. Hard to beat getting one for nothing and saving $5/month in the process!