So glad you dropped in!
I don't know if it was an excuse...though I love the thought of 2 machines. And with much less dust, I can put the laser in the basement where I can't run the spindle and toss wood chips and dust.
Though I was concerned with the laser...in both dust and chips around the lens, or potentially banging the mount itself while mucking around with spindle mill changes.
My other concern was messing around with the existing machine. As I recall, adding the laser may involve soldering the jumper pins on, which means taking apart the boards and messing around in there. I'm a noob at all this stuff right now, and honestly the thought of doing that scares the crap out of me.
I almost sprung for the power supply and boards from Inventables w/ GRBL pre-loaded, though I'd have had to make some changes as my new machine is NEMA17 w/ 16 tooth pulleys.
I get the benefit, which is kind of why I was hoping to see if anyone here had worked with Easel on a Ramps/Marlin style system before. I like the tool chain I use, and hope to continue with it. Easel has worked for my tastes, as I'm not doing elaborate designs and stuff with the need to get a more expensive package like V-Carve.
Though you are right about using the laser as part of the CNC process with cleaning up areas with the laser.