Well thanks for all the great advice, I think you all have stopped me from making a big mistake in purchasing a laser cutting machine, or at least until I have a workshop.
I actually think I have found an alternative while I'm experimenting, which I will spend a bit more time investigating, being either a Silver Bullet or KNK Maxx 24" .... both are around the £1000 mark and don't suffer from the fumes and noise problems with a laser it appears.
The 24" is going to be more than enough for my need and they can cut many materials up to (depending) around 1.5mm. The materials appear to be mainly less dense materials, however there are ways to harden after production. As with the laser I can layer, but I would just need extra layers with these craft cutters .... but this is no big issue as time, strength and material cost isn't such a major problem with prototypes
I will probably get a CNC router initially if I decide to go into production as noise won't be such a major issue if I rent a small industrial unit or workshop.
Anyway thanks again everyone for saving me a large outlay on something that wouldn't be suitable, or at least as a home/hobby project