A few weeks back I invested in the Ridgid EB4424 oscillating belt/spindle sander. I had the web cam on at the time, so I hit record in the event that anyone wanted to see the setup, and get a look at the machine. You can see it on my ustream channel here: . I was in The Wood Whisperer chat room yesterday, and another member was asking what I thought of the tool now that I'm a few weeks in, and we both came to the same conclusion. The only real flaw is that the spindle sleeves and sanding belt that ship with the unit are somewhere in the 80 grit range (I believe they are just marked "coarse"). This is perfect for serious material removal, but not so great for more precision work. It's very easy to sand "past your line" if you linger just a moment too long in one area.
That being said, everything else about the tool is fantastic. Changing from spindle to belt is literally a 15 second process, and changing spindles is even faster (it comes with four sizes 3/4" to 2". I found replacement sanding sleeves in 150 grit for 25 cents each on Amazon.com. Dust collection, which is key on any sanding device, is fantastic - as long as you remember to turn on the DC. I forgot once, and pretty quickly kicked up a big cloud of dust. But overall, the tool is highly adjustable, quiet, and performs well. I use it mainly for making router templates, and getting a fair curve with completely square edges is they key to success. But this would also work well for sanding tricky end grain (using the stop, a miter gauge, and the belt sander). I use handplanes as the first line of attack, but for any time those won't work, this tool has become the go-to for plan B.
Also, as a side note I have run into some problems that have slowed my video production down. I had to rebuild my laptop, and somehow when I restored all my video files, I lost all my footage from my most recent project. I have shot some new stuff, but unfortunately there will be a big gap now. I am flying out to Las Vegas next week for AWFS, so I will have time on the plane to get things back on track. I will also be taking video at the show, and will post that when I get back as well.