Henry (Raleigh NC)
If you have on-going or additional advice, please feel free to add to the thread.
I too actually liked the feel (and price) of the Ryobi that i saw in the store the other day ($75?). But I have another tool in hand now - b/c a friend provided his HF planer that he bought for a project long ago and hasn't used since. My first use of a HF power tool I think.
My expectation is that this will be a very crude method of stock removal, and that I will need to use a hand plane/sander/scraper etc. for refinement.