That is kind of what I thought too, but I also thought somewhere between a 5LB sledge and a half a million dollar wafer probing setup ought to be feasible too. That's why this CB7 head I just got has me wondering. Not only is it in mint condition, the worm gear movements on both the neg and lens board stage just make so much sence.
I agree with the illumination in the 45M series though, it really needs to be a 7" cone instead of the 6.4" one it seems to be, but I think I can rig something there too, l'll just have to see what this newly acquired 45S color head puts out in that regard.
The thing with the 45MX is that I used it in high school, then the college class I took, then at two of the three newspaper jobs I had, so it spoke to me on it's merits and availability when selecting an enlarger for the long term, spare parts and eventually for a workshop environment. It also kind of selected me since it was all a big bad ass package deal and was a two hour drive away to pickup.
I guess the reason I ask this stuff is because I now have different wants and desires and can actually see my self making some rather innovative and not very expensive improvements to the 45 if I felt like it was worth it. I guess you just end up with a different take on it all after working on things like those pricey X,Y,Z stages not to mention other fun self propelled projects.
For example, if I had nothing better to do with my money, I might hire Chamonix Camera to make me a totally modular vertical and horizontal mural enlarger...the 4x5 of they make that I own, it's very well thought out and precise.
Precision can help get a handle on consistency and I like consistency...:-)