I have two of them. I keep one 570 in jointer mode and one 570 in planer mode. (I got a very good deal a while back on the second one) Not that changing modes is difficult, it's just a lot easier not to. Also in the event of a machine issue and I'm hot into a project I could just always use one as a backup for both modes, and tend to the other one at a later date.
Backup is good.
I also have other Inca machines, but that another discussion (and thread) for another time. To expand on what Nelic said , the original machines were Swiss made and were a mint green color when they were sold to a French group (and moved to France) it changed to a light retro blue color. The difference between the 570 and 550 is that the 570 has 3 Tersa blades and the 550 has 2 blades (I believe that they are not Tersa) The 3 blade cut is a lot smoother. I've only used the 570's, but have spoken to craftsmen that have moved from a 550 to a 570. My 570's have a 10 1/4 inch capacity.
Inca tools are the swiss version in a stationary tool that doesn't take up a lot of space to Festool's portable tools. They also seem to have had the same people sorting out their pricing.
There are parts that interconnect to other tools in the line with the same attention to detail as Festool. If you were the engineer type in the 70'- 80's and were into woodworking
.....you bought Inca.
Eagle tools in the Los Angeles area is the best resource for parts state side. http://www.eagle-tools.com/
They bought out all the spare parts from Garret Wade back when they ceased to carry them. You need to speak to Jesse or Raul.
Running through some 8/4 walnut.
(and yes, anything longer than what you see here....it would be a good idea to use rollers.)
I could talk more about them later this evening, I'm working at the shop and just stopped for a coffee break.
Keep in mind there were earlier models than what's been cited above, like the 400 series and also a 300 series (which has something close to a 7 inch capacity and has the motor below the table using a belt to drive the gears vs a motor in the housing as the 570.
$500 is a good price for any of the 500 series in good condition.......but you really need to read through all the posts on the yahoo site.
..... If you get one - it is critical when in planer mode to wax and buff out the stainless elevator planer bed on a "very"regular basis.
I use "Waxilit" (from eagle tools) (for a detailed explanation of what could happen if you don't - see Dave's post below
, of course along with not overloading it)
trimming up a 5 foot curved lamination