I would be looking for a DeWalt, Makita, Porter Cable, or Bosch, as they are the more common "Better" brands, and I would be looking for a 2 or 2 1/2 hp router with multiple bases. Many in this size have been made and sold as a 2 base kit. A fixed and a plunge base are in the usual kit, but a third D handle base would also be nice, if you can find a 3 base kit. It's very easy to change the motor from one base to another, depending on your planned use for it. A guide fence would be nice for the router too, but you may have to buy this for the router kit that you buy sometime later. The routers in this size all have 1/2" collets and most also have 1/4" collets or adapters included. This multi-base router package would be very versatile and powerful enough to do most anything you would want to do with a router. Soft start is another nice feature that comes on newer routers, but you can live without it. A router by one of these brands will likely become and remain your favorite router even if you collect other routers in your future and it will be reliable enough to last you for a very long time, if it hasn't been severely abused before you buy it.
Central North Carolina