The HAKO 936 is not a cheep POC but instead there are many cheaper knock-offs of it. I too have seen them on E Bay for as low as $35
Anthony.L FYI, the Hako is a cheap $35 chinese made iron,
I have a Weller station that I have had for years but I bought a new HAK O 936 about 2 years ago while waiting for a part for the Weller and have never put it away. it heats up twice as fast as my Weller otherwise they are equal and I expect to get years out of it just like the Weller.
The best thing about a higher end solder station is the variety of interchangeable tips
CRASH! GLUE! REPEAT!
Spectra-G, Ion X-2