In short, it will be 1k well spent in my opinion. The sad part is that they don't seem to make it onto craigslist in good condition (for a reasonable price) very often. We will still start there and hope that we can find someone who want sto upgrade their 22ton+.
Well, we went and did it. We purchased a 28 ton Dirty Hands Tools gas powered log splitter. I could not be happier with it. We have now split seven FULL truck loads of wood and it has not missed a beat. Starts on the first pull and will go through anything you stick in there. I have found, that despite the instructions listing the hydraulic oil capacity as 6.5 gallons, you should NOT fill it above the operating capacity level. It will poor all over your driveway through the breather cap and make the driveway very slippery in addition to the stain. Stop at the 5 gallon operating capacity and save yourself the mess.
I highly recommend this splitter but make sure that you have someone on hand to help you unload it and put it together. At 654 pounds, it is a struggle to move even the parts around alone. My wife and I were able to get everything out of the box in the back of the pickup and it took about an hour and a half to get everything unloaded and assembled. Most of the time was invested in trying to get certain heavy parts out of the back with the help of a motorcycle jack and temporary platform.