I <3 the smell of sawdust
Router table vs shaper
One of my next tool purchases is going to be a router table or shaper. But what are the advantages of one vs the other? I've been scouring CL for a few weeks now, and seeing some older shapers with 3/4 to 1 hp (usually belt driven) shapers, that usually seem to need a small bit of work such as clean up and wood for the fence, but have heavy cast iron tables. These things are usually fairly cheap, being between $100 and $250.
Then, on the other hand, there are router tables. Prices seem to be about the same, but some have plastic fences, even if they have a cast iron table. I'm not really looking at the cheapie bench top Craftsman things. Then, occasionally, I see something like a JessEm for a whole lot of coin ($500 - $1000 with router and fences). What would make a router table worth that much money?
What are the thoughts on a router table vs shaper? Is a shaper with a 1 hp motor able to compete with a 3+ hp router in a table? Can both do raise panels? I really don't know what to look for, although I do like the idea of a lift that is operated from a hole in the top, or better yet, a wheel on the front of a shaper.