I have the one posted above, i used it to polish my e36, came out amazing. I think its simoniz. I've used porters and makita's before, and although they are marginally better, i'd never spend the money on it. The simoniz has speeds so fast you'll destroy your paint in a second, so you definately dont need more power.
I would very strongly recommend using 3M products, particularly if you're a beginner. Napa sells a complete set of compounds (soft/med/cut) and pads (same set). I paid about 100$ for the polisher, 230$ for the polishng pads/compound/adapters and 10-15$ for the wet sand paper (my car had tons of peel so it needed sanding first).
Its absolutely not hard to do yourself. I got VERY cocky with it near the end and never burned the paint. Always remember a cutting agent is going to cut VERY quickly, especially with a cutting pad, unless your paint is ****ed i'd skip the cut and go straight to medium and then soft.
I'm no pro but i'll help how i can. Also, you can only re-use pads if you've used them on two stage paint, if you polish urethane paint that pad will only be ever good to polish that one car (some of the paint ends up in the pads, you should wash them after every use regardless but you'll never get it all out).
Good luck. Flat black (gloss) paint looks awesome.
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Hot: 2001 Estoril M Roadster
ZCP 19's michelin supersports, ZHP knob, JL 8W3
Cold: 2002 TiAg M3 6mt ZCP 19's michelin supersports, deoranged, dechromed, led tails, ZHP knob, UUC SS v3, GROM, OEM 18's w310's,
fun: 2006 YZF-R6, black