A cheapie portable AKA Skill, Craftsman, B and D around $200 or so is a waste of money in my opinion. Too cheap, too light, under powered..I could go on.
A used $200 10 Craftsman cast iron TS would be a big improvement assuming good condition or needs a little TLC.
Next level: $300 -$500 will get you an newer contractor saw with a motor out the back but a real decent saw. Or an older cabinet saw that needs lots of TLC. Or a recon'd portable like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-4100-09-10-Inch-Worksite-Gravity-Rise/dp/B000S5S5CW Next level would be a new portable for $650 or so.
The problem is "room"
A safe sized cast iron table saw on roller stand will take up just about the same room as any portable.
You still need a safe "roomy" space to work especially for ripping.
If you need to store it on a shelf then yes you will want a portable.
News Flash! There's a reason they call them table saws. They often get used as tables! So a saw can be used as a table and when you need to work with it clear it off and saw away. There are swing down rear extensions you can buy or make and support tables as well. So it's really not a matter of "room" if you are clever.
Personally I used a 10" Craftsman series 100 from the '60s for 55 years until I just parted it out and saved the table. There is nothing like cast iron for durability and smoothness. True, the newer portables have great safety guards and nice fences but the aluminum tables will not hold magnets, the latest rage in hold down and feather boards! I have a Bosch 4000 portable and it's the greatest, but it wouldn't be my first choice to make furniture with which was your original question. Confused?
The newer hybirds take up less space since the motor is underneath rather than out the back and dust collection is much better. I got a steal of a deal on a Craftman closeout reg $1200 saw for $486.00 cash and carry, grunt, grunt. There are deals, you just have to find them.