Donoman is making the point that there are dozens of threads on the same topic, and there is a wealth of useful information. Do a search, and you'll find a lot of good stuff.
The hudy lathes are expensive, and it is not necessarily money lost. They are very well made, and give a good cut. For me, it was definitely a good purchase.
If you want a theoretical answer, from an economic perspective it really depends on your personal marginal utility function.