I started with the Bosch 1181 (the model for $20 more) and had it about 2 years. You might not be able to do better for the price, but there's some real downsides to the 1181. This amazon review and comments (one of them mine) sums it up very well:
I didn't see your reply when I posted mine. I am NOT an owner of this table, but I thought in the interest of this thread I might reply to the review you posted:
-I take it back, there's one thing that's pretty bad: the accessory rail at the top of the extruded aluminum fence is not flush with the fence. It sits back from the face of the fence about half an inch. This makes is necessary to use fiddly little plastic spacers when mounting the feather boards or guard. While it's not a fatal flaw, in the end it's really quite annoying.
I did notice this when playing with it in the store. I thought at the time it would be smartest to shim the rail out. I can't guarantee that's possible but that was what I thought I would do if I owned it.
-The fence doesn't move back far enough to remove the plate. Often if you have a router that's not easy to remove bits from the top you'll just pull the router and plate up out of the table. With the RA1181 the fence blocks the router plate from being removable.
The table for the 1171 has keyholes to remove the fence.
-The surface of the table is rather rough. While this seems more of an aesthetic issue, you'll soon realize it creates issues when doing coping cuts (routing the ends of boards). Even after waxing up my Woodpeckers coping sled and the surface of the RA1181 there's still a lot of resistance to smoothly sliding over the table. I can see why people prefer a smooth melamine or cast iron table.
I'd say if a guy has discerning taste and purchases Woodpecker tools, he probably should not buy an entry level anything else.
The table did not seem rough and that sort of melamine always waxes real nice. I'm not speaking as a user but I didn't note that table as being particularly rough. The plate should be the main bearing surface anyway and that was aluminum.
-Sharp plastic. This probably seems like I'm being a pansy, but I've scraped more than enough skin off my hands reaching under the table to adjust the router. Everywhere is sharp plastic edges.
This is an MDO table, I didn't see any places to cut one's self. Still if you are a router user and can't figure out how to smooth something ... maybe woodworking is not your best bet.
-The fence is not precise. When you tighten the clamping screw down the fence moves a small amount. It's minor, but it's an issue.
No comment here ... I'l try to remember to check that out when I hit the store again.
-The fence can't be removed as easily as other tables. I have mounted my RA1181 in the extension wings of my Delta table saw and when I need to do a long cut I have to completely unscrew the RA1181's fence knobs to remove the fence. Most tables have a key hole slot and you can lift the fence of by moving to the far end of the slot.
Like I said, there were keyholes.
-The included feather boards have a pretty fiddly, annoying mounting system when putting them into the miter track. They don't just slide in, they have to be lined up and inserted into a pair of key-holes.
Accessories are just that. You can always replace them. It's true these were fiddly, and again I'm not a user of the tool, but they seemed a minor annoyance. They are carriage-head bolts that slide in the track.
-If you every decide to add a router lift to the table you'll discover that the plate is a non-standard size and your options are, well, non-existent.
Why would you add a $300 option to a $150 table?
I appreciate the review though - it let's a person know what he is walking into. Nothing about that makes me believe it's a bad choice for a beginner who just wants to make some sawdust.