Don't worry about Larry! WE know where he lives and the VORTEX is strong. The Army of Assimilation will protect you from the non-believer!
As has been suggested, the Jet mini lathe is a good one and comes in variable speed. Woodcraft, I believe, still has the Rikon 70-100 on sale, for under $300.00. This is also a Very good lathe, kept even after the purchase of a full sized lathe. It is 11-1/2" Dia X 15-1/2" length, add an extention and you have 35-1/2". Long enough for table legs.
The leg set, if you don't mount the lathe to a bench, is, I believe the most versitle out there. Height is VERY important, if you want to be able to turn more than about 20 minutes at a time. If you have to bend over, your lower back will cry OUCH!!!! If to high, you will get a lot more catches and your arms will scream at you! The correct height is - the height of your elbow from the floor + 1/2 to 1". This is measured to the tip of the Drive Center.
Hope this helps,
Bruce Shiverdecker - Retired Starving Artist ( No longer a Part timer at Woodcraft, Peoria, Il.)
"The great thing about turning is that all you have to do is remove what's not needed and you have something beautiful. Nature does the hard part!"