Thanks to all who responded!
There are indeed many options out there.
One of the newsgroups in which I lurk is rec.photo.35mm.equipment.
Discussions of various brands of particular gear is both topical and...
well, entertaining, I guess;) In comparing optics, it was said that
there is more variation within a batch of lenses made by a given
manufacturer than there is between those of the same specs by different
manufactures. The general conclusion seemed to be that the more one
paid, the less chance one had of getting a poorly made item, but that
(except for Leicas, perhaps) the chance was always there.
Perhaps thats fair to say of most stuff, including table saws.
The small manufacturers probably have a better chance of maintaining
real quality because of a lower rate of output means the possibility of
a tighter, more quality oriented, manufacturing staff. Don't know, tho.
Clearly, overseas manufacture can be problematic, but I've seen really
bad stuff made right here in the USA (automobiles come to mind...), so
made American is not a guarantee. Brands owned by foreign manufacturing
conglomerates typically do not represent dependable quality, and I get
the impression this may be the case with most, if not all, traditionally
US table saw manufacturers. Powermatic is long gone, and apparently now
so is Delta.
It occurs to me that brands from other countries, especially smaller
less high profile outfits, are much less likely to have been squeezed
into compliance by a bottom-line oriented ownership. General
Internation may be one of those.
Grizzly, IIUC, does not itself manufacture, but is very picky about the
factories it buys from and demands a relatively high level of quality
I do know that Ryobi has a reputation for shoddy stuff, and so would
expect that to perculate into Ridgid. I've read through several opinion
sites, and found that the most recent opinions of several brands, Ridgid
and Powermatic included, are markedly different from earlier posts.
Talking years here: posts from 1999 to 2002/3 versus 2004/5.
If medical expenses hereabouts are reduced as expected, a new table saw
is on the near horizon. I'll post here when (God forbid, not if) that
Thanks again all!