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  1. I recommend that I use laser over inkjet for print prices, readability and durability (ink tends to smear when damp - not good for plan sets in the field). Color is good to have, but I can think of just one instance in 3 years, if this was useful, but we don't have it in a large format. However, I think large format color laser is very expensive. No particular model recommendation. It's important to have a wide-format scanner and color scanning (for redlines) is extremely useful.
  2. I have a us cutter one and it's not bad as a starter cutter, although it's really reliable, I also use vinyl cutter software for mac it's a nice hobby cutter, you can do fine detail with it, but if I had a design shop, I would only do it once and get a Graphtec. I've got one of those, too, and how reliable and consistent it is is nuts. You're going to be at around $1800 for the 24" I have, but you can do almost any job. They also make a 15" for 1100-1200ish, I went with the 24" because if necessary I would have the ability to do bigger jobs and wouldn't have to get another one later."