You basically have your answer. Shapers run slower and use larger cutters. Some folks use collets to allow router bits on shapers but success would be fairly specific to the bit, speed and operator.
For the enthusiast or those doing production runs in the home shop, a shaper would seem like the way to go. The better ones tilt and reverse which is cool. For me, the RT is a good fit; low cost for cutters (a low end ogee RP router bit from MLCS = $25 vs. a low end ogee RP shaper cutter from MLCS = $72; not that I recommend low end cutters, just an example), lots of profiles, lots of after-market stuff.
I got my router, lift and table top all on sale (at different times) and have less cash in them than one would spend today. I know that a lot of home shop folks really love their shapers and I don't have one so my input is very limited and subject to what I have experience with. If my lift would tilt like the higher end shaper spindles do I could be in heaven.
Last edited by glenn bradley; 06-10-2010 at 11:32 PM.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke