So I've been looking through the forums and have gleaned allot of information and opinions from the different threads. I'm aware that there are numerous ways one could build a system based on there skills, budget, space, and time constraints. I'm not trying to be redundant by posting yet another thread having to do with this topic, but I'm looking for some recommendation based one my particular situation, so here goes.
I'm familiar with Arduino, Processing and a number of prog languages (hence why I'm leaning toward Arduino)
I have experience welding / plasma cutting so I'm ok with welding fittings / converting kegs to kettles
I have a basic understanding of (and a healthy respect for) electricity and I feel comfortable wiring ... although honestly 220V + high amps scares the crap out of me.
All electric - feel more comfortable building an all electric system. Ideally, i would like to use multiple 120v power sources (on different circuit breakers).
Automated - I would like to automate as much as possible, save data and provide some sort of gui for the whole thing.
Low Initial Cost - I'm looking to build a relatively cheap system and perhaps upgrade some of the components later.
Low Volume - not looking to start a nano or anything off the bat, and automated 5 gal system would be fine for starters.
HERMS or RIMS - leaning toward herms, just from what I've read I know this is a matter of preference.
2 kettle or 3 kettle - I've seen some systems that use tow kettles only (HABS)
Metal or Plastic - I've seen some folks construct HLT and MT from insulated coolers, although intuitively it seems sketchy to me ... to put a heating element in a plastic container.
If Plastic MLT, Shape? - seems like the square ones hold more, but the plastic ones seem more friendly for brewing.
What size MLT BK - was thinking of using kegs, but if the price point is not that much different, and I'm brewing smaller batches ...
Wattage?, Voltage? .... might feel more comfortable with 110v for flexibility
I know that this has all been asked before and that it's a little vague, but any input would help in my initial planning stage.