I got my Super Chromega F Dichroic II with 300mm Nikkor for $750. It had all the stuff (fan, power box, ducting, etc), plus a voltage regulator (though it is only 1000W; 1500 or greater is preferable from what I hear). Plus I had to drive about 900 miles round trip to pick it up. I had to spend another $100 or so on a Lektra timer for it so I didn't blow out my Time-O-Lite. Deals are out there. I say wait for a deal to come, rather than doing a camera conversion. There are no compromises in functionality that way, and alignment, service, and parts are potentially easier to deal with.
Anyhow, my real point is that you actually need some decent headroom to make a 16x20 with a 300 lens. I cannot do it with the headroom I have, even with the shelf on the bottom rung. This is because I have 10 inches of column that I cannot use. I got the enlarger to print 5x7 and to make oversized proofsheets, so it is a bit frustrating until I get that figured out. it seems like I cannot even get to 2x magnification. 11x14 enlarged proofsheets is the max for me at this time. Since I don't think I will be moving any time soon, I am seriously considering trying to track down a wide-angle lens for the 8x10 format, if there is such a thing.
I might consider calling it good for now with the two E models you have. There are advantages in size. And then you get to shoot 5x7 instead of 8x10. It is half the price, and I actually prefer the aspect ratio greatly. At those print sizes, you don't effectively lose anything in quality if you have your students shoot and enlarge 5x7 instead of 8x10 (though you do lose the ability to make full enlarged proofsheets), and you save a lot of room and expense in your lab.