No, "poor mans" is a common phrase meaning there are better solutions available. Didn't mean to censure to people who use this method, but it is better than nothing and people either work with what they have or pony up to get better more efficient tools.
I used gas before I invested in a $500 buffer. For sanding I use an orbital with 120, then a mouse sander with 160 which leaves them perfectly smooth.
Sometimes I leave them like this for a frosted look, most often I'll buff them to a glass finish with the buffer.
You'll have limited results with any hand held buffer - For one, very tough to hold material down while buffing. I bought a top of the line Dewalt hand held buffer, instead of bringing it to the material I ended up strapping it down securely to a bench and bringing the material to it.
Had no where near the balls to do the job and turned buffing wheels to shreds in no time, not the right tool for the job - I visited a friend who actually sells and shapes plexiglas for a living and inquired about buffing, he showed me his Baldor and I fell instantly head over heels madly in love.http://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools/bal ... ial-buffer
[may or may not be available cheaper, ultimate luck would be finding one on craigslist or garage sale, they last near forever and if they turn on they are good to go].
Thinking that perhaps I could get results like him on the cheap I tried a cheaper 3/4 HP buffer off Amazon first, 3/4 hp buffer is a 3/4 hp buffer I thought. Nope, it nearly shook itself apart so, as I do alot of plexi, I bit the bullet and got the Baldor, could not have made a better move and have not used flame on edges since. Comes in handy for more than just plexi too obviously.
Using MAPP, best to experiment on scrap to get a feel for it if you have never done it. Idea is to keep the flame moving, like spray painting. When its flash point is reached it will ignite quickly, bubbling, turning black and generally ruining the project. Propane can be used too with less risk of flashing but will take longer. Best to do a couple quick passes on an edge, turn and do the others ect, that way they have a chance to cool down and you are not just standing there whistling Dixie waiting for them to cool.
You can kinda tell when its "done" after doing a few.