What a wonderful way to treat yourself well!
I own both GRS and Lindsey equipment. If I could only choose one, I’d go with the Lindsay AirGraver. Although I use mine primarily for engraving, it’s useful for everything involving hammering, especially pave’ and other types of stone setting. If what you want to do with your new tools is engrave, no question, I would recommend one of the Lindsay tools. On the other hand, the GRS systems develop more whacking power. They are less precise but more powerful and they are far more complex in both their construction and operation, meaning that the GRS tools require more maintenance. The cost of both systems is comparable.
I have several vises, the regular GRS Magna Block, the MicroBlock ball and a GRS positioning vise that I thought would work well with the scope. Turns out not so much, because unless it is kept dead level, it is out of balance and rotates unevenly. I also have an Otto Frei bench with the steel bench pan which allows me to slide my standard ball vise around pretty easily and keep the work under the scope. Otherwise, the mini ball works pretty well.
My microscope is a Meiji EMZ 8TR, the one with the attached video camera, mounted on an Acrobat stand. I find the camera extremely useful for showing customers repairs that are needed. It is absolutely wonderful for selling repair and restoration work. It turns “Can you explain that again? I don’t understand…” into “OMG! Can you fix that?” It is also great for people that are worried about getting their diamond back. All I have to do is show them an extra facet or a natural or something on the video and explain how that makes their diamond unique.
For you guys having a focal distance issue, do you have a 0.5 objective lens on your scope? It increases the focal length to about 6 1/2 inches or so. I’ve never had a problem with hitting the ring light. GRS also has a 0.3 lens that they say increases the distance to 251mm.