Note that the machines being discussed here are engine lathes, aka metalworking lathes, not wood lathes as are the Jet and Woodcraft machines you mention. The Harbor Freight machines, and the similar items from other sources, are perfectly good when properly set up and handled, and they are outstanding values.
Search around on the internet and you'll find lots of naysayers who don't actually own a HF lathe, but feel qualified to give an opinion of them anyway.
You will also find many, many happy people who actually own one.
I also agree on the 7x10 (actually 7x8) one being a false economy. Spend the extra $50 for the 7x12 and wait patiently for it to be delivered.
One of my other hobbies is building cannons. Even on my 7x12, I find myself running out of room fast, especially during drilling operations.
Edited by Jamesbeat, 06 May 2015 - 03:27.