Invest the money in a Hypertherm machine. If you’re going to consistently cut 3/8” or thinner and the occasional 1/2”, 45xp is the ticket. If you know up front your going to cut a decent amount of 1/2” and thicker, step up to a 65 or 85.
I understand the money savings on the plasma purchase, but at the end of the day, the Hypertherm will work day in, day out and the consumables will last longer. The money savings in consumables alone will justify the purchase. Once you have the table, you’ll quickly realize how valuable of a tool it is and understand how the slightly higher upfront investment on the plasma itself is worth it.
Plenty of people have great results with machines other than Hypertherm, but look at all the big name table companies, 99.5% of them sell Hypertherm machines to go with their tables, there’s a reason for that. I bought my Hypertherm a couple years before I even bought a table, knowing that it would eventually be used on a table. Before buying mine, I used solely thermal dynamics machines for over a decade. Before buying, I talked to a handful of people that had thermal dynamics machines on tables and they all hated them and either upgraded to a Hypertherm or used other peoples tables that had a Hypertherm on it.
So don’t take my constant recommendations for a Hypertherm as “you should buy one just because I did”, the proof’s in the pudding.