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I just learned a few things about a shaper. I'm very satisfied with my choice in router top. You sound like your not much of a MDF fan. There are alternatives.
As far as the table and top are concerned, apart from my particular shop situation, I would have built my own router table with drawers for bits, etc. I bought the BenchDog router table extension for the table saw. The top is cast iron, has a miter slot that works great with the BenchDog locking feather boards, (same as the table saw), and you can use T nuts and jigs. The fence has sliding backer boards that can be replaced and room to close in on a bit. The fence has a slot for feather boards, a 4" dust port keeps the mess to a minimum.

I'll just improve on a good setup by getting another plate that can take brass inserts.
There are great table and top setup out there. But for me, to save space in my shop, the extension was the best all around compromise. If you're getting a 7518, then you have enough power for anything a hobbiest woodworker can throw at it.
Good Luck, (another) Mike
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