This is certainly something I'm considering.
The facebook link earlier never popped up for me so I don't know how to find the listing from Michael Littman.
Right now my main considerations are either this listing on craigslist... I've messaged him for shaft diameter, weight, and tip because it doesn't seem to have it. Only negative really is that it doesn't have a wrap and I'd prefer one. You can't have an unwrapped stick wrapped can you?
Or I really just like this Pechauer's design and the upside is like said above, I could keep this butt and upgrade shafts only when/if I get to that point...
Theres also these on ebay but they have zero information about diameter or shaft at all...
Or just sticking with my original plan for substantially less since this cue comes exactly how I'd like to start out. Downside is that the whole stick would need replacing when I decide to upgrade. I also just would rather a color stain over stickers.
I'm still looking at the schmelke sticks as well. So far I haven't found any that I like that will keep me enough under the pechauer to not just go for the pechauer. And I'm also going through the for sell section but most of that is way above my limit.
And as far as the break cue goes. I'm not "worried" about velocity exactly, more just wanting to find a good balance for me to maximize energy if I want to power break. I didn't know if there was a good rule of thumb out there for figuring out what the max weight you'd want to use is.
Thanks so much everybody. I'm learning a whole lot as I go through all this.
If you end up getting any "this cue hits or plays great and this one doesn't play good" comments you can more or less ignore them. With the exception of some really crappily built $30 cues made of Ramin wood and the like, if they have the hit and shaft taper and specs that fit your preferences then world class pool can be played with them. In other words it is a lot like which food tastes best, it is all personal preference and the best pool that can humanly be played can be played with all of them in the hands of the guy that has the skills to do it and where the cue is the right fit for his preferences.
All of the cues you linked to are pretty good values and decent quality or better and not just waste of money type junk and would be a decent starting cue. If you want to start with low deflection from the get go out of what you linked to, obviously you would have to go with the Player's cue or McDermott as they have the only low deflection shafts that I noticed, but I don't know enough about either of those particular shafts to know which is lower deflection. If you want the slightly better build quality, it is a toss up between Pechauer or McDermott although it is not like Player's won't last last quite a few years if cared for. If the prestige (or lack thereof) in the name is important to you, out of those none of them are going to impress "cue snobs" but the Pechauer and McDermott are seen as being at least fairly respectable makes by most people, but the Player's is looked a bit more down on by a few even if not completely justified especially considering the price point. If you want the best warranty, as I recall the McDermott and Pechauer warranties are significantly better although I don't recall the exact details of either one, or if they would transfer to the second owner if you buy one that was pre-owned, so look their warranties up if that is important to you.
Keep in mind that you may end up wanting to change the butt out down the road too as you learn your preferences and/or they change so I wouldn't necessarily get too stuck on thinking you are only likely to change shafts later as it may or may not be the case, although having the option to only change shafts if that is all that is needed certainly isn't a bad one. With cue butts their balance points differ, their weights differ, their diameters differ, their wraps differ, their joints differ, their aesthetic designs differ, the prestige of the brands differ, and you may develop distinct preferences on those or several other things and want to change butts as a result at some point. To be on the safe side I would buy your cue with the knowledge that it is possible you may end up wanting to replace the whole thing at some point and not just the shaft, although it probably wouldn't be within a year, and it is also possible you never replace any of it at any point.
To answer some of your break cue questions, within reason your arm speed is much more responsible for the cue ball speed/break power than the weight of the cue is, but if I remember right there was some testing done that showed that most people get the most pure break speed from using about an 18 ounce cue as it is right in the sweet spot for swing speed/cue weight. Remember that speed of the break isn't everything though and within reason the accuracy of your break is more important and as a result most people don't even break at full power, just the most power they can break accurately with so good chance you won't even use quite all the break speed you are capable of and the weight you can be most accurate with may play a bigger role.
Most people prefer a break cue that is somewhere between one ounce lighter to the same weight as their playing cue, and most people's break cues tend to be in the 18-19 oz range. There is some argument that for those people who are real outliers and just can't generate much arm speed while breaking, they may break slightly better with a slightly heavier break cue than that as long as they can move it at the same speed (or they would tend to be on the end of the range with their playing cue weight instead of going lighter anyway). Same might hold true for a very few who just can't swing a lighter cue accurately and may get their fastest accurate
break with a slightly heavier than normal break cue, but chances are somewhere around 18-19 ounces will be the right break cue weight for you. Most important is you want the fastest accurate
break possible and no more, not fastest pure speed possible, and time and experimentation will tell you exactly where that is with what cue weight and with just what percentage of your power you are giving it. For a newer player there might be a decent argument to be made for just starting with the break cue being the same weight as your playing cue rather than dealing with something that feels different for the breaks, and many experienced players also choose that route for just that reason. I definitely wouldn't go outside of that "one ounce less to same weight as your playing cue" bracket to start off with in any case.
While not necessary, it probably isn't an awful idea to have a combination jump/break cue (it will have two joints instead of just one) instead of a plain break cue (particularly if you are trying to save on money and the number of cues you buy/carry with you) so that you can also use it as a shorter jump cue when those shots become necessary and you learn how to do them well.
As several others have mentioned, the J&J break cues are decent break cue and a great value for the money. I have tried a couple of their break/jump combos that didn't jump real well for some reason but they always break pretty well, but I am not sure if they typically don't jump as well as they break, or if that was just an anomaly in a couple I ran into.