Welcome to the forums. You have already received a lot of good information here. You post caught me right when you said that you thought to yourself that you could build it nicer for the same price. That is the same thing that I told my wife when we were looking at dressers for our oldest daughter back in the early 80's and it has been fun and $$$$ ever since. So strap in and enjoy the ride.
Lots of good conversation here. When I was foolish enough to golf regularly I can't recall blaming my inability to afford a $300 driver for my lousy skills; I just wasn't very good at golf.
That being said, I can agree with those who mention that poor tools will yield poor results. I also agree that there is a very wide range of very usable tools in between a BORG contractor saw and a Martin T75. Average tools can yield very nice results as long as they function correctly.
For someone trying to learn guitar, a very poor instrument can kill the dream. Many of us here know the experience of picking up a very poor hand tool and feeling the result of trying to use it. Using a good solid version of the same sort of tool yields a very different reaction.
Bemoaning the fact that someone has a Festool XYZ (I don't) or a Saw Stop 123 (I do) seems kind of silly. We all have different means and priorities. Like my friend with the multi-hundred dollar fishing reels, I spend my money where it is important to me. I am also realistic about where I want to spend. My friend doesn't own 'a hole in the water that you dump money into' (a boat) since he can afford much better gear by taking fishing trips on charters when and where he wants to.
I have some very average tools that do a fine job. I have some tasks where I feel it warrants a better or more elegant tool and I spend the money I saved in one place in another. Although as someone else mentioned, my shop is quite comfy and I have yet to get anywhere near the money I use to spend golfing . . . including the 19th hole, of course ;-)
Thank ya much. I wanted our table to be more of a dining table so I passed on the accessory rails completely. I also don't plan on making any inserts and I wanted the recessed area to be just as pretty as the top so I used the contrasting walnut sub-frame and a nice piece of cherry ply instead of the birch that Marc used. The only other two differences are that the leg tapers are brought up higher to just under the rails, and the rails themselves have a small chamfer on the bottom edges.