I was a Formlabs backer on Kickstarter and have been a customer for the last 8 years.
You mentioned several concerns in your post; I’ll try to lend my perspective on a few.
Yes, in my opinion the resin costs about twice as much as it ought to - especially considering how much competition there is in the marketplace these days. I suspect this is a primary revenue generator for the company, and they are content to target higher-margin customers (e.g. professionals) even if it means more frugal consumers slip to competitors.
I think Formlabs Support is the best in the industry. In my experience, they’re responsive, and the people on the front lines tend to be knowledgeable about their machines. You don’t have to work your way through humdrum “Level 1” staff who are less familiar with the printer than you are. They’ve typically gone above and beyond to help me solve my problem, and have been fairly generous in terms of replacing failed components or faulty consumables (sometimes even after my printer is no longer in warranty). To be frank, that’s one of the main reasons I keep coming back to them when it’s time to buy a new machine. Most of repairs or replacements I’ve had to do have been “in the field” (e.g. cleaning, swap a mirror or motor, etc). IIRC there have been two occasions when I’ve had to send a printer back to them for repair - once it was on their dime, and once on mine. One of the times I was disappointed with the result - the printer worked but the spilled resin in the refurbished unit from a previous customer wasn’t thoroughly cleaned. I believe they were having QC issues at their repair centre at the time. I can’t remember how they made it right for me (I think they may have shipped a whole new replacement?) but I do know I don’t hold a grudge anymore so I’m pretty sure they did resolve it one way or another. In all, I would say the Form 2 in particular has been a pretty reliable machine for me.
There have been one or two times I felt dissatisfied with the ultimate outcome of a support case - but I’ve opened many dozens, and no company is going to hit home runs 100% of the time.
Purchase price of their printers has stayed pretty consistent over time, which is impressive considering the Form 3 has WAY more sophistication going on inside of it than the original Form 1 did.
Longevity of the machines could be better. If you take good care of them they’ll last for years, but after enough printing (I’m talking lots of heavy use) the laser will eventually degrade. The replaceable LPU on the Form 3 should help with that.
Your consumables are: resin, tank (the tray that slides into the base of the printer), and build platform (one will probably last forever). Per Formlabs, Standard Form 2 tanks last 1000-3000 layers. LT tanks, which are only for the Form 2, last at least twice that (I thought I saw an estimate of around 10L for standard resins, but can’t find it). They’re recommended or required for some of the more exotic resins like glass-infused Rigid, which wear tanks faster.
On the Form 3, certain resins (Tough 2000, Elastic, Rigid, Grey Pro) only work in a v2 tank, and there’s a limit to how long you can store them in it (35 weeks). On previous printers the time limit was only a “recommendation” and I’d regularly surpass it, but you need to take it more seriously on the Form 3 as the way I understand it those resins eventually leak through the adhesives which secure the flexible film. More info is available here:
Scroll to Resin Tank Lifetime
Other consumables, not bought from Formlabs, are things like alcohol, paper towels, gloves, cleaning supplies (for the printer itself), razor scraper blades (if you’re printing direct-on-base), etc. I don’t think you have to budget much in the way of repair costs until the printer goes out of warranty.
I believe Open Mode on the Form 3 has been promised, but hasn’t been implemented yet. I’m looking forward to it as well, but they have some higher priority work to do on the Form 3 before they get to that (e.g. dialing in parameters for some of their own resins). Keep in mind certain third-party resins really stink when you run them (not sure if that’s a factor for you).
I can highly recommend a Form 2. I can’t recommend a Form 3 yet, but I’m optimistic Formlabs will get there in time.
Hope this feedback helps you. Maybe others will chime in as well.