Hi, Phil. A table saw is not something that most of us get a chance to try using every one on the market, but I am happy with my Delta 34-670. My criteria was a 10" blade and ability to use a dado blade up to 3/4" wide. Some small saws will not handle the last requirement.
You might notice that about half of the cost in the expensive saws is the fence system. You will have to consider how much really close tolerance cutting you will be doing when making a decision about this. You can buy a good table saw now and add the better fence later if you choose.
There are some really neat accessories that you can add later also that will increase your saws usability, like special throat inserts. One of the weaknesses of the Delta and many other contractor saws is dust collection. Someone is now making a bag to snap on under your saw to catch the sawdust and small chips. I haven't gotten one yet but it seems like something you would really want to add. Again, you can buy a good base saw now and add what you find you need for the kind of work you are mostly doing later to spread out the budget requirements a little. But if you buy a cheaper saw, it is hard or impossible to make the needed additions.