Thanks to everyone for all of your relies and assistance with my last post (see: "Help! My husband wants a router for Christmas!" thread). I have several options, and a bit clearer of an idea of what my husband is looking for, if anyone has the time to give more opinions I would appreciate it!
First of all, I looked at several combo kits. Although the Dewalt kit with three bases (fixed, plunge and D handle) looks wonderful, it is way out of my price range.
The two I am looking at most seriously are by Makita and Bosch. Both have 1/4" and 1/2" collets, soft start, variable speed, and come with two bases and edge guides. I have decided against the Porter Cable kit for now because the kit I can afford doesn't have the soft start option, and the switch is fixed, which might not work for my lefty husband. (See? I am learning my stuff here!)
I asked my husband why he wants a router. What he is really thinking he would use it for is replacing woodwork in our old house. For example, he wants to be able to take a plain plank of wood and curve the edge to match the existing door frame moldings. He doesn't want to do anything fancy, although if he takes to it this could lead to other projects that are more intricate. However, for someone starting out, is a kit a little too much? If one router would do, would I be better off going with a fixed base or a plunge base?
I know I could go with a Lowes or Home Depot gift card, but knowing my dear husband he is liable to use it towards something else! I'd rather have something under the tree. Thanks again for any opinions!
PS: Tom, I did get your article on choosing a router, it taught me a lot!