I spoke to people at Derby Mini Maker Faire, who used a machine all day every day, which only costs £399: http://www.flashforge.com/finder-3d-printer/
Is it worth cutting our losses, & buying a reliable machine, so that people can get on & use it, rather than spending forever trying to fix the RepRap, & then lots more time maintaining it? By all means, let's fix the RepRap later, but we need a good machine in regular use by the time we start using the laser-cutter.
I'm keen that when we have open days to promote our group, & use local press to publicize the events, we're able to showcase various clever kit & creative applications, so that we capitalize on every opportunity to make a good first impression.
There's a possibility to apply for a small Calder Ward Forum grant by 17th January, which could cover this.