I wasn't exactly ready to post but after exchanging emails with Tim Wagner regarding a lunch box planer I'm selling I figured I'd post my experience up though delivery.
First, I found that Grizzly has an ebay site and the GO453 I ended up purchasing sells there, new in crate for $775 vs the $850 currently in catalog. They seem to routinely offer a discount on selected machines and the availability changes. Shipping from Grizzly and guarentee are the same as catalog. There is an outfit called Utterguys on ebay that appears to do the same for Shopfox and a few other associated brands.
I evaluated 2 basic entry level 15" planers. The G0453 and Shop Fox W1742 are about the same with the Shop Fox having a different on/off switch. I can't speak to less visable changes. These machines have built in mobile bases, solid cast iron in/outfeed tables and change cutting depth by table moving up and down. Given my hobby use I figured I would just use the tables with their 42" combined overall length deferring a longer shop built outfeed table due to moving table height with this machine.
I drove to Sunhill to look at their CT382A 15" planer. Fit and finish of this machine and the jointer I looked at were good. This planer is on sale for $750 has a fixed table height but the infeed and outfeed were rollers. I just don't like rollers as much despite my preference for fixed table with movable head to adjust cutting height. Shop Fox has what appears to be the same machine (W1724) selling though Utterguys on Ebay with a HSS spiral cutting head for $1,039 plus $99 delivery. One other decision maker for me was that with the Sunhill/Shop Fox fixed table models it appears the motor may have to be removed to change out the knives. Not a huge deal but less convenient.
So two machines, 3 companies. Interested in the spiral cutter head I worked up the following choices delivered including the cutterhead. Sunhill fixed table $1,248, Shop fox fixed table $1,138, Shop Fox fixed head $1,500 with you installing the cutter head, Grizzly fixed head $1,318 with you installing the head. I do have a shelix head backordered from Griz, cost is $100 more than the spiral head with knives so my ultimate cost will be $1,418. Truly if I would have been aware earlier of the Shop Fox with spiral cutterhead installed for $1,138 delivered I may have gone that route. But again, I would have had to put a base on it and the Sunhill/Shop fox design appears to be more old school- and then there's those pesky rollers.
A funny thing happened on the way to my garage. New driver at Oak Harbor Freight, didn't tell dispatch he didn't have a phone, was suppose to call me at work pre delivery. I checked with dispatch eventually and found he was on his way back to the house for the third time. Arrived to find helpful neighbor signed for me and I had a 600# plus crate on a palate in driveway. Oak Harbor was concerned, apologised and made sure I was able to deal with it, waved the $25 lift gate fee I agreed to pay.
Hope that helps someone, will post on the cutterhead change out once done.