I'm fine with a kit. I mostly am looking to do oak wood signs/plaques and the ability to upgrade to a laser would be a plus. Maybe some soft metal...but mostly wood. I'd like to get the best I can afford to run light production. Maybe 30 15×15" signs a month amongst other smaller projects for now....and save for a bigger machineWelcome to the forum! Glad to see you have already been looking. We can probably give better advice if you tell us a little about what you are planning on making, and in what materials. Do you need to cut sheet materials, carve hardwoods or ?
The Shapeoko is a kit. Are you OK with building a kit? Kits from CNC Router Parts and Fineline Automation have their proponents here (for good reason).