I am also in the market for a replacement drill press. I have had my old Rockwell drill press for decades, but I hate it. The sarcasm in the following post says it all:
Here is what I want in my next drill press:
* Rack and pinion table lift is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
* Minimum 1/2 inch chuck. Believe it or not, my Rockwell drill press has a 3/8 inch chuck.
* A stop mechanism, so I can drill repeated, consistent depth holes, and throw away those little stop rings that attach to the drill bits themselves. Surprisingly, I have seen some large, expensive drill presses that don't seem to have a stop mechanism, or perhaps the stop mechanisms are not visible on the outside.
* Variable speed. I don't think I would like changing belts, so I probably want one with an easily adjusted speed control, like a wheel or a dial.
* Suitable to use as a sander.
* Bigger and better - more power, more depth, more stability, etc. Enough power to run large hole saws, large Forstner bits, those circle cutters, etc. Good strong bearings that can handle typical drilling and sanding forces and still last my lifetime.
Am I forgetting any important features?