If using a milling or laser machine, I would just fire up grbl on an Arduino for controlling, can't beat the price on that. One needs a computer anyway to do CAD/CAM and there is lots of software for sending files and controlling grbl through the computer. If not needing a CAD/CAM, then I would pair up Raspberry Pi and a grbl controller for a cheap, fast, small and easy to use package. But the requirements of different people dictate different means, for example the grbl can't do lathe at the moment.
Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.