A little info to go by before you here my problem:

I worked building street/strip cars for a East Coast Company about 4 years ago before enlisting into the Marines. In that I got 5 years of welding under my belt in MIG and TIG. I was welding everything from Stainless up to aluminum and mag once and awhile for slight repairs. I never had to worry about what i needed cause the shop had 4 mig millermatics and 3 syncrowaves that where probably a good 7+ years from the looks of them. They were awesome and worked great and now i feel it is time to buy something that can do almost what i was doing then. I plan on taking on some hot rod projects which will ocassionly get me welding at the most 1/4" steel for short period of time maybe 10 minutes at once before taking breaks. aluminum probably not more that 3/16" and that would be a rare case. so the average will be .125 walled tubing that will need both cosmetic tig welds and quick strong welds MIG style for frame mods. i want the ability to have both mig and tig at my fingertips but the projects are not going to be all that industrial (everyday). Its more for hobbies until i get a chance to do side jobs for some money. I want the ability to weld aluminum, chromemoly, and stainless. I am wondering if the Shopmate wpould be able to handle the weekend hobbyist that will get on a mission when it comes to race cars and street rods. My space is limited and are those multi-process machine worth it? I appreciate the help and I am trying to decide what I am going to get with my re-enlistment bonus after I get back from the sandbox. im looking to spend at most 5,000. Semper Fi