how often will you be using it
no need to get certian models if you are an occasional fixer upper
Don't worry about my wallet. Do you have any ideas? Let's hear them! I like quality. If I have to wait and save a little longer, then so be it. But, let us not get carried away. Over the years I have acquired some top of the line tools and they are amazing! Not to mention how long they last, durable, etc.. You get the picture. I will give you an example. Have you heard of Occidental Leather tool belts? Well, the model that I am picking up is the 5080DB that sells for $149.95 from Home Lumber. Most guys would not go for it but I do. Well, that's that! I await your response.
b)way wide open subject - portable or shop or contractors
Grizzly has been good values here. Jet, Delta also
c)I use the Paslode Trimpulse- seven or eight years now. The Senco trim guns are nice too.
Porter cable has some great power tools, but they've gotten a rep for messing up with the air powered line they brought out. I would lean away from them on this one.
if you want a top of the line portable table saw that still has enough power to use it like a stationary model get the ridgid portable contractors saw through the home depot...it has an extendeable table which allows for a 25" rip capacity...and it comes on a collapsable stand/cart that works great when moving it around...i have had this saw for 2 years now and i love it because i can use my dado cutter w/ ease...
as for the trim gun i would recommend the paslode impulse angled finish nailer
For the nailer, I have tried bostitch, cambell hausfield and porter cable, so far the PC nailers have worked the best and the nails can be found anywhere you go, unlike the bostitch one I have, only a few centers carry them.
For the hammer dril I got a Bosch one that works awesome through the hardest concrete. I was able to dril a 1" hole through a concrete foundation for a brick home, I think it was at least 15" thick, and it took me about 10 minutes to do so. I cant say enough good things about that drill.
FOr the Table saw and any other stationary tool your considering check Wood magazine, they have comparisons, all unbiased as well, where they do a head to head comparison on each tool and post the results along with MSRP on each tool and where to buy them. For a good tablesaw, I cant give you my opinion since Im kinda stuck with the one I have, and havent had a chance to try out other brands. Best bet would be to shop around and play with each one and go over the SPECS on the motor before buying one. You might want to consider a shop smith if you can afford one, I have heard nothing but good things about it and it is one of the most versitel(sp?) tools I have ever seen. If you have a Lowe's near you,m they may have one they demo every so often.
to answer your question of what happened to the good ol' craftsman quality tools...
craftsman's shop tools used to be made by emmerson tool corp. ...now they are built by the same company that makes ryobi tools for home depot...
however...if you want to get that old style quality give ridgid tools a shot...they are available exclusively at the home depot...made by emmerson tools and they have a lifetime warranty...i have one of their tablesaws, miter saw & oscillating spindle sander...i love 'em
For now, I dont see any tool purchases as far as stationary for quite sometime. That is as long as the motor holds up on the table saw, right now thats the only part I havent upgraded on the saw.