I’ve worked on a number of table saws in a number of shops over the last 35 years or so, but never as a production woodworker. I’ve never lost my healthy respect for the power of these tools, and know the most important safety feature is to keep my concentration engaged while planning and executing the machining operation. As I’ve seen on stickers here an other places - “This machine has no brain - use your own.”
With a full understanding that my personal anecdotes are a statistically insignificant sample, I’ve had 2 near miss shop accidents, both my fault when my attention was distracted. One time a shaper grabbed and threw a piece I was working on about 50’ across the shop. Luckily no one was in it’s way and I got off with a small nick next to the nail of my middle finger. The second was kickback in my home shop on a mid-50’s Craftsman table saw which gave me a pretty ugly bruise on my belly but no lasting consequences. Both of these were due to lapses in concentration and bad work habits. A sawstop would not have prevented my kickback accident.
A free find off Craigslist (after watching the listing for 2 weeks at $50.00 and nobody grabbed it), I invested about 2 hours of cleaning, added a magnetic switch, a new link belt, and new blade. My Craftsman saw runs smooth and true, passes the nickel test (start and stop with a nickel standing on edge and the coin doesn’t fall over) and came with it’s original blade guard, which I use when I can.
All this is to say, everyone has to do their own risk analysis for their specific situation. if you can afford the premium price of the Sawstop and believe the emergency stop feature is important to you, go for it. If I were outfitting a student shop I would definitely make that choice to protect against life-altering injuries - I might even be required to by insurance requirements. But I would worry that folks might get a false sense of security watching the “hot dog” test and not develop the required respect for the power or the tool and the different way things can go terribly wrong. I can’t justify the extra expense at home, given my infrequent hobby use.