Just a couple of things I have learned along the way:
Air compressors- Forget PSI. most of the tools you need work at the 90-100 PSI range. Most air compressors advertise pressures higher than that. The key measurement is CFM or SCFM. You're going to have to shop for a compressor based on the types of tools you are going to use. Air nailers use so little air, that if that is all you are going to use, any of the small pancake or hotdog compressors will do you well.
I bought my compressor from a guy who did auto restoration. He had a bunch of compressors he was selling because he had started small and kept having to buy bigger compressors as he got frustrated that his sanders wouldn't work well on the smaller ones.
My compressor is too big for a lot of small jobs, and too small for my big consumers. It's a 36 gal horizontal with 6+ CFM at 90 psi.
Tablesaws- My first saw was in the $300s (new). It cut well, but had no weight to it, and was a little underpowered. It became a little scary when feeding heavy stock into it, because it would tip a little. I had to learn to work within the saws limits, to add weight to the base, etc. The old Popular Woodworking magazine "little shop that could
" (September 1999) articles have a bunch of good resources on using the small saws well.
If picking up a used one, avoid the open grid type extension wings, they can be a pain to work with in my opinion. Also, with a cheap table saw, you aren't going to be doing dados- might want to use a router instead. Most don't have the arbor length or the power to get what you need done.
Drill press- If you don't need one often, the little wolfcraft drill guides can save you a lot of cash by letting you use the tools you probably already own. If you buy a drill press, go big. What looks big at first, is going to be too small sooner or later. Find a 12 or 15 inch swing benchtop, and go from there. Big drill press tables are nice, but you can always make your own. Motor power isn't super critical here, you'll just have to feed slower, or work your way up in bits.
Miter saws- I went big when I replaced my RAS with a miter saw, but it's too big most of the time. Instead of a 10 inch slider, If I had to do it again I would probably get a 12 inch fixed miter saw. When you go to look at them, make sure that they lock tight in position, don't flex, and there is no wobble in the blade. If it looks like the saw has been sliding around the bed of a pickup going from site to site, you might want to stay away from it.
These are just a few opinions based on my experiences, and I'm an expert by no means. I built a tall clock using a circular saw, a jigsaw and a router, and I built an entertainment saw with a cheap table saw. It can be done. It's a whole lot nicer with the bigger tools, but they're not 100% essential. http://www.amazon.com/Wolfcraft-Atta...tag=dogpile-20
looks hokey, but it works surprisingly well..... Little Shop Mark II - WoodworkingNow
I don't know the date of the little shop mk I, but I think I liked that one better