Hello Mark.... The sander you've linked to is almost identical to an older 16/32 Ryobi drum Sander I have used for several years now. The only difference I can see is that the unit you linked has a decent depth gauge whereas my Ryobi had nothing except a pretty flimsy pointer and sticker. I've since installed a Winn Dixey digital gauge...
Installation of the sandpaper rolls can be a pain in the butt! Not so much on the open end of the drum but more so on the backside. The mechanism used to clamp the paper in place is rather flimsy. It works, it does hold the paper i place as designed, but I think they could have come up with a much better means to do so.
Depth adjustment as it came from the factory is poor. Again, it works and works ok if close is good enough for you. Even now, with the Winn Dixey digital gauge installed I still reach for a micrometer. Reading are always within a couple .001ths, just old habits i guess..*L*
You need to be very much aware of feed rates and just how much you're taking off with each pass. Trying to take off too much at once and/or feeding your stock too fast will burn and clog up your paper. If you catch it early enough, you can save your paper and save yourself alot of extra work with your work piece. If you don't, the sand paper can be almost impossible to clean up and you run the risk of running a good size 'groove' down your stock. This is something you can run into with most types of drum sanders. I can't speak to the "V" type of sanders mentioned earlier. Here's just another version of the "v" type sanders.. Sand-Flee Drum Sander
Cost of sand paper is reasonable. Even better when you but it in 100 foot rolls. Make yourself a jig to get the right taper on both ends and cut to length.
Dust extraction is fair to good. I'm sure this will depend on how you go about it. But it is an absolute necessity!!!! Don't even think about not using some kind of dust collection.. even with, some sort of dusk mask isn't a bad idea..
Noise level is nothing out of the ordinary... ear protection isn't a bad idea..
The mat that the wood rides on can get slippery and needs occasional cleaning or just a good dusting off with a shop brush. They do wear out and need to be replaced occasionally.
Set up is easy!!!
Operation is straight forward. With the only real learning curve being getting used to feed rate and just how much you try to take off.
Finish when used correctly can be excellent!!! At 220/240/320 grits you can end up with a ready to go surface. This just depends on how "picky" you are.
I've had no problems with any kind of snipe.
Parts for my Ryobi are becoming increasingly difficult to get. I cut all of my own sand paper or use Jet's 16/32 paper (a bit more expensive, but good quality) I bought my sander used and found that it would not give me a perfectly parallel surface. The open end was always .007-.010 higher than the closed end. I easily corrected this with a couple paper shims. I like mine enough that when it finally craps out, I will look for another of the same design.