First table saw suggestions needed

Sorry for being long winded, runs in the family :)
I'm just getting into woodworking and want to get my first table saw. My "shop" is my two car garage, which is used for two cars. With the cars in it, there is barely enough room for anything on the sides other than a few hanging lawn tools.
My first few purchases for power tools were (In order):
Dewalt DW959K-2 18V cordless drill Craftsman 13 amp circular saw 1/4 sheet craftsman palm sander Dewalt DW706 Dual Bevel 12" Compound Mitre Saw Cheap Skil jigsaw Dewalt DW618PK 2 1/4 HP Plunge/Fixed router combo
(The wife likes the Dewalt yellow. I really have no brand loyalty, but if she's happy...)
With these tools, I constucted my 15 ft wide workshop area on the back wall of my garage. Out of BC 3/4 plywood and yellow pine, time, glue, and finishing nails, I've built 5 wall cabinets with doors and two fixed base cabinets. The first base cabinet lines up with the left wall cabinet and the other lines up with the center wall cabinet. I've built a removable countertop between the two and the area under the right two wall cabinets houses my lawn mower and such. Considering what I had to work with, they came out quite spectacular for a first project with no guidance. Nothing fancy in the construction, of course; just lots or rabbets and dadoes.
I am in the process of building a rolling center base cabinet that will have interchangable tops. I'm going to start by making a router table top for it, and then a Mitre saw drop-in top.
The rolling cabinet will be about 33" X 19" and the interchangable top that I drop the table saw I intend to buy can be no larger than 35 X 21.
I'm looking for suggestions for the table saw to buy. I know a table saw is the heart of the shop, but I'd like to keep it cheap to start until I use one for a while to know what I like and/or I have the space to use it. I've looked at the $119 Delta saw at Lowes, the $150 Craftsman bench top saw, and the $499 Dewalt "Jobsite saw." because of the wife. However, I don't know if it is worth it to me to spend $500 on the Dewalt until I get deeper into the whole woodworking thing (especially because I think that if I get into it enough to buy a $500 saw, I will probably be willing to spend $1000 and move into a new house to accomadate it)
Money is not as much of a factor as the form factor. It needs to be small enough to fit in the space and light enough that I can change it out with my other interchangable tops. Keep in mind that by light, I mean not too much heavier than the Mitre saw. I can heft that around without too much difficulty.
In any case, I'll post before and after pictures of my "Rolling Shop" when I'm through.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'll see if I can be the picture of brevity, then. ;->

In your shoes about 18 months ago.

Check out this month's Fine Woodworking Tools and Shop issue for contractor saw reviews.

Don't, you'll regret it. I did. Most others who've posted similar stories were sorry they blew $150-$199 bux on a cheapie benchtop saw. It was $200 wasted, in my case, when I decided to pop for a contractor ("hybrid", actually) saw.
Why did you pop the $$ for the nice sliding miter when Lowes has some for $70? Why pop for the DeWalt router when there's Ryobi, Black and Decker, and Harbor Freight?

In that case - go ahead.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can you afford to give away $200? If so, buy the cheap saw, get hooked on woodworking, then you give the cheap saw to a friend and buy a good ($900 or so) Jet or Delta contractors saw with the cast iron top wide enough to do cross cuts and the power you need.
Some of us have been there, done that. Plan to build a carport or leave one of the cars out. You won't fit everything in the space you have. You still have to find room for the drill press, compressor, router table, etc. Yes, you will be buying them also. Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jay wrote:

Look for a used contrator saw.
Here is how one fellow fixed the space problem:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/kidder/Audio/Tools/Table%20Saw/table_saw_mod.htm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Small cheap saws aren't worth crap, and you will not care much for woodworking if you have to use one.
The good news is that while they won't crosscut at all, they will rip if you don't mind spending 10 minutes setting up the fence. So, if you can get by with your miter saw for crosscutting, then a cheap saw might work out for you. For the few crosscuts larger than your miter saw, you can always use the circular saw with a guide; it is a real pain, both to set up and to use, but it works.
There are expensive small saws. I haven't looked at them because they are simply too small for woodworking; but they might rip better than the small cheap saws.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I bought the Ryobi BT3000 partly because it could be wheeled against the garage wall at night enabling 2 cars inside overnight. Still using it after 10+ years.
On 2 Dec 2003 11:15:40 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@kreusch.com (Jay) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.