Hi all this is such a great resource for information. Going today to purchase my Lathe it will be a Rikon 70-1218VS from Lee Valley I jumped on the Cyber Monday gift card deal buy $1000 gift card for $850 and the lathe is $525 so leaves room for turning tools. I have decided to go with Carbide tipped as I am not ready to invest in sharpening tools at the moment. (yes I know carbide needs sharpening but I can purchase replacement tips) I hope this lathe will be sufficient for pens,rings etc. Also made my purchase from penblanks.ca for supplies, they were quick at shipping and very reasonable prices.