My AR16 elite arrived in Mid March (ordered Nov 29). That got it here smack in the middle of my 18-hour-a-day tax season (I'm a CPA).
I got it off the pallet, I've yet to hook up the power & turn it on. It's a beast for sure! I can't wait.
I'm not sure if it's the both Elite machines (or just the AR-16) but the toolbox is not optional...it's standard equipment. That whittles a chunk off of the price differential between the Pro Series & the Elite Series.
I really like the way they built this giant "drawer" on the "top end" of the machine and put all the controllers for the whole thing in there. Servo controllers are large...very nicely done & neatly wired. The construction is rock solid (at 1,400# plus).The machine comes mounted on the stand, so the assembly is limited to putting on the side panels & sliding the toolbox in place and plugging in the controller.
I also got the 4th axis (still in the box) and the laser (installed but not yet touched otherwise). I bought the overarm dust collector because the machine will sit out in the "open part" of my shop where the ceiling is over 16' and rising. You definitely will want a dust boot and something to pull it out. I was gonna have to do SOMETHING to hold up the hose anyway, and that's an elegant solution (as pricey as it may seem).
If you have the space, by all means, go for the big guy! If it means holding off on things like a 4th axis or laser for a while, then just go ahead and do it. Unlike "another' brand (which shall remain nameless) you aren't locked in to making it "4th axis ready" from the get go.
I'm outta time here, I'm still working and it's now 12:07 am on April 15. I just wanted to give you something to chew on. Send me a private message if you'd like. I'll have plenty of time to tell you more in another 24 hours.