The last shop I subbed in had a basic vacuum pump rig and it was great. You could layout and glue all sorts of complex assemblies that would be near impossible otherwise.
For most applications you need very little pressure.....although really this is dependent on your adhesive of choice.
You want a way to dial in the pressure, most basic pumps just try to draw their max, a simple bleeder tube and ball valve let you dial it in by intentionally allowing a small controllable leak.
You will want breather cloth for any large panels. Its really just polypropylene "fluff" that allows the pump to pull air evenly. Sometimes the plastic sheeting will seal itself off against a smooth surface without this, leaving areas beyond without vacuum.
You may also want "peel ply" It is a permeable membrane that allows some adhesives to migrate through but won't bond down itself...helps keep the surface nice and the breather fabric from becoming part of the lamination.
You definetily want a "trap" between your work and the pump to capture excess adhesive before it is sucked into said pump.
Butyl rubber tape (which is basically sticky goo on a roll) is super handy for making and sealing your vacuum bags. You can seal to many surfaces and irregularities, also an easy way to make a seal around you tubing penetrations in the sheet/bag. Duct tape works too but not as well or in as many different ways.
for gluing large flat panels without a vacuum table, you can use a big flat section of concrete slab and tape a "bag" over it...pull the vacuum against the slab....worked great.
hope this helps some. I can't give much input on motor types and recommendations.
Separately, I have a hard time believing empty comb wouldn't collapse into a chunk....but maybe if you crept up on it?