I am currently looking to buy a router. I have never owned one before, but I plan on using it in a wide range of applications. I was looking at 2.25 HP range but I thought it may be a good idea to 3 or more. I want to make sure this tool is going to last me for a long time and I don't want to find that I underestimated my power needs. My conundrum stems from the fact that 2.25 HP routers can be found in kits that can be either fixed base or plunge. Routers that are 3 or more HP do not come in such kits. I know of several applications that I want to use the plunge router on right now, but I am not entirely clear what the fixed base is for. Is it just so you can be deadly accurate on depth? Is it what enables you to route the edge of a long workpiece, or can that be accomplished with a plunge router and an edge guide? I have been looking at all the options from the various manufactures and my head is reeling with choices. Compounded of course by my lack of experience, desire to get the most versatile tool that will last me a long time. Plus I find differing opinions on who makes the best routers. Dewalt, Makita, Bosch, Porter Cable...
I apologize if this is not the most straightforward post. Understand that I am coming at this from very little experience. Any insight will be greatly appreciated.