I would not do it, if it was me, for reasons other than what you have pointed out. I think the cost of going legit is actually fairly reasonable if you get the rig for a good price. The real reason that I would not do it is that I do not have the passion for cooking for people. And the fact that you seem to be on the fence tells me you might not be willing to put the effort in. I really like cooking for people from time to time and love the accolades. But, do I really want to put in the hours or prep time for even a small event? Do I want the stress of having to hit a service time everytime? What about booking an event months in advance, then I have a bad week that week and really do not want to spend 8 hours Friday night prepping and cooking and 10 hours Saturday cooking, travelling, serving, cleaning, travelling home and cleaning some more. Do I want that?
I have done it, not sure I could do it again as the passion is just not quite there. If it was, would I have waited until a rig just came on sale? It could be just your thing, but, there is my reasoning. Cooking as a caterer or chef is hard hard work, for little return for most. You have to really want to do it.
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."