I recently ordered and assembled a Fireball CNC Router from Probotix. With it, I can cut out designs in wood, plastic and aluminum, and achieve a greater precision in projects I build in the future. For cost reasons, I went with the smaller model, that can cut stock up to 12″ x 18″ x 3″. While this limits its use to smaller projects, larger projects require less precision and can be cut out by hand.
The kit came in a large, 75 lb box, and took about 2 hours to assemble. The instructions online were straightforward and easy to follow, and the machine worked great the first time I tried it. I bought a cheap re-furbished computer from Microcenter to drive it, and installed Ubuntu with the open source EMC2 as the controlling software.
Running the machine is easy, and produces good, clean, accurate results. The challenge is in the design software, which I am still figuring out. The majority of CAD software for CNC use is overpriced and over complicated, so I am trying a variety of open source alternatives and less expensive trial software. Once I find something that works, running the completed designs through the EMC2 control software and the Fireball should be effortless, and should enable me to make some very cool stuff in very little time.