Since my initial problem on the one I purchased a few weeks ago...of which Rockler exchanged..I've had no issues at all. I'm very pleased with it. A few days before I purchased the Rikon I had also purchased a Harbor Freight 10x18, which I was originally going to return upon the Rikon buy. I decided to keep it, why not ..it's paid for right. And I have to try and catch TonyL above
I've read a few places the 2 lathes are very comparable.....if I had to replace them but could only buy one I would jump on the Rikon with no hesitation. The improvement on the tailstock alone will make you very glad you did. The other upgrades would just be bonuses...and the VS is a big one. Especially at this $399 sale price.
I'm thinking of adding the extension bed on my Rikon. I've been making some handles this week for my homemade turning tools. The added length would have made drilling much easier. I'm sure the need for other long spindle turns will come around again eventually. At least that's what I'm telling myself to justify the possible purchase.