I am going to make a few assumptions about this. I have been looking at used screen printing equipment for quite a while new, partially because of habit for some reason, and I don't think I have ever seen one of these for sale. This would lead me to belive that this would have to be a new purchase. That request quote button looks like bad news to me. I would look for an old AWT cameo or some semi auto. You might end up ahead on price if you got a used semi auto over this manual jobber.
The other assumption that I have is that the sizes they give are print areas. I admit that I have never tried to pull a print that size by hand, but I can't imagine that it would be easy to pull a 24x30 print. Not that it would be necessary to use it, I am just suggesting that it would be easier to use the full print size on a semi auto over this manual table.
Quoted price on the 20x24 with the vacuum is about $3700. I have a line on a lightly used one with the same specs for about $2500, though I would probably not pay that much.
I do not want a semi-auto, mostly because I want to stay manual (for various reasons, some of them even practical). If I can't score the used proto-press, I will likely build a vacuum table and wait until a one-man squeegee that's not, like, 6 feet deep and 8 feet long to come on the market.
I thought about building my own with premium components, as you suggested, but then it gets kind of complicated because by the time I add a micro-reg print head, I'm up to a couple grand again and I still have to build the table. There are a bunch of ways to go, but the fact is that the market for these presses is so constricted that there is essentially no competition and everything is made-to-order. So the prices are very high. I see a bunch of one-man squeegee units from overseas manufacturers, but they won't even return emails, and of course there's none here you can check out before you buy. I'll probably build the cheap home-made vac table first and see how that works out. At least then I'll be out short money if it's not what I need.
By the way, If I didn't want to go the shop-vac route on a home-made table and wanted to get a decent vacuum motor, what should I be looking for?
Andy I was thinking that a good metal frame for a vacuum table could be salvaged from a big old aluminum screen frame. If you don't have one lying around just order one un-stretched that's the size you need.
Hard to tell but the micro reg on the proto seem to be on the head and not the bed. This would not be good, the reg being on the bed is the way to go IMO. Also I'm worried that the vacuum seems to be in the optional features section "Export Electrics (for vacuum)"