Both the Jet and the Delta machines are good; of the two, I personally
prefer the Jet, but you really can't go wrong with either one of them.
Avoid the Rikon machine like the plague. I have one in my shop right
now that I was testing for review, and it's the worst lathe I've ever
used -- terrible fit & finish with lots of paint chips and scratches,
and a lot of sharp edges; the hinged plastic belt cover actually
scrapes the belt when you open and close it; the pulleys weren't even
close to being coplanar; the tool rest snapped off with only moderate
use; parts were missing; and neither the tailstock nor the tool rest
base will stay locked down for more than a few minutes unless you use a
mallet on the locking lever. Unless they've done some serious
retooling in the last month on every production unit that's out there,
you're best to remove it from consideration. It's a true piece of
If you're still sold on getting the Rikon, look right next to the
garbage cans at the end of my driveway next week on trash pickup day.