Well, for the background of Spacetrawler, I plan to do much of the reference layout on the computer, and then then do loads of trace-work. My Lilliputian light table, knee high to a grasshopper, I knew would eventually cause my emotional breakdown.
Foreseeing this unavoidable mental deterioration, I kept an eye out for a light table on Craigslist. Luck would have it, one appeared, gorgeous (and cheap!). I wrote, he wrote back (Ray Braun, local designer), and within three hours, I had picked it up, I had disassembled it and reassembled it (to fit up the spiral staircase to my apt), and it STILL WORKED despite me having wielded tools against it.
I am very very happy.