So, I'd like to start doing some basic maintenance and repair myself again. One thing I'll need is some ability to jack up my car to get it on jack stands and there seems to be a lot of options over a lot of prices. We don't have Harbor Freight in Canada, but we do have some similar options (Princess Auto, Canadian Tire). Options range from really cheap trolley jacks (2 ton) at Princess Auto, equally cheap bottle jacks, combo packs (3 ton floor jack, two jackstands, and creeper) for about $120 or dedicated 3 ton floor jacks for 150 and up (in some cases way up).
I will only be doing work on my own vehicles (a compact car and occasionally a minivan). I may start out with good intentions and find I really don't have the time (in which case, the jack will sit in my garage!), or I might really enjoy it an move on to bigger automotive projects -- I'm kind of testing the waters here.
Any advice/experience? I know that the cheaper the jack the less reliable, but I don't ever intend to get under the car unless its on jack stands. Is more money basically buying more ease-of-use (less effort, shorter pumping distance)? Or is there a substantial functional difference as well?