I just purchased the Butt Mortise Plane from Lie-Nielsen. I love it! Works just like they say and it is quick and fun. You can use a router, chisel, etc, but I like using this plane and it works very well for me.
The little Lie-Nielsen is perfect for knocking the corner off of boards, cleaning up a little area and even smoothing small boards and some inlay. Just all around handy.
The number 4 smoothing plane is a Wood River plane from Woodcraft. It is the new version with the heavier A2 tool steel blade. It works very well, holds an edge like you would expect from the blade and the soul was dead flat. Unfortunately the sides are not very square to the soul so not good for shooting (not that this size is really made for that but...) All in all not a bad plane. It is made in China, but overall fit and finish is good. You could still go with an old Stanley and tune it up and put a new blade in it verses the WR plane but for the time and cost of a new blade and the tune up I think you are ahead of the game quite a ways with the new planes from Woodcraft. Not too thrilled with the older version though. JMHO. I still prefer the Lie-Nielsen or the Lee-Valley planes...
I also have a little Stanley low angle block plane that I spent a lot of time tuning up and put in an IBC blade and what a difference! Works beautifully, especially on end grain! If you have an older plane and want to really increase the joy of using it, try some of the newer blades.
Well, just thought I'd share,
Have a great day all,