I think I'm going to buy reprap guru's prusa i3 it seems to be the easiest and most reliable of the three builds for a beginner. Would have loved to get the Folgertech FT-5 but it's a little over my price range... I'll let you guys know of the results!
Definitely! I got tired of the hours of sanding and waiting for the epoxy to settle. I mean it's a lot of fun and very satisfying to handcraft a case don't get me wrong... frankencasing is turning a pile of plastic, epoxy and bondo into an awesome case. And the results aren't half bad. But from a production point of view, 3d printing is so much more efficient. You design your case once and then you can print it as many times as you want. Plus you can customize your design a lot more with 3d printing. You don't need to adjust the electronics to your case, you adjust the design of your case to the electronics!3D printing (in my opinion, at least) is the easiest way to make a case and ergo a good portable. Hot glue and frankencasing aren't worth the time if you have access to a printer (and even if you don't there are people and companies who are willing to print for some monies!) In the end you'd wind up have a nicely assembled unit that is as close to "professionally made and assembled" as anyone in this community will probably get for a long time.