A lot of good answers. Most of us who have been around forever will remember the "early" router tables that did not have removable plates and can tell you that changing a bit with that set up is a real hassle. Most of us probably started with the "twist out" style of the Porter Cable (690). Believe me, at some point, it will end up on the floor if you surface mount it and "unscrew" it to change a bit. The advent of the removable plate allowed us to have everything topside and life became easier. It's worth the extra trouble & cost but you can live without it if need be. Guess it all depends on how much frustration you can tolerate.