Originally Posted by moosehead
Agreed, I have had a few bad stringings on top of the line machines also. That being said I think I would still prefer to have an electronic stringer for ease of use and setup. Since I have never owned an electronic stringer though my assumption may be incorrect.
Oh I hear ya - I just wanted to point out that it's not necessarily the machine that produces superior results; it's the stringer. Are the machines he suggested (ML100/MS200) good machines? Probably, but I don't have personal experience with them. The bottom line is some hapless, uncaring guy could easily produce just as crappy a job on those, too.
As for your preference for an electronic, sure - more power to ya. When I was in the market and reading these boards religiously searching for the machine that would suite my needs, I narrowed it down to two machines and simply pulled the trigger. You can read and search and re-read and do more searching and come away as indecisive as when you first started. Everyone has an opinion about this machine or that, cp vs lo, sc vs non-sc, etc. Do enough research, ask a few questions (which you're already doing), then make the decision. With the amount of money you want to spend I'm sure you'll be happy with your choice.
I opted for the Alpha Apex 2 with the intent to get a Wise, but decided I didn't need it. I focused on my technique, practicing, reading, watching videos (several times on occasion) until I was able to produce very consistent string jobs. With the volume of work I do (about 6 racquets per month excluding my own) the crank is plenty for me.
Be careful, however. Once you get into it, in the period of a year/year-and-a-half you could spend more than $2k in string lol. I have more string than I'll ever be able to use, but it's fun. I enjoy trying new string and having a large inventory so others can try a variety of string as well. It can get pretty addicting.
Anyway, good luck with your search!