Q: I understand that most professional chefs use scientific water baths and immersion heater circulators to cook sous-vide, are they the right kind of cooking appliances to cook sous-vide?
A: The most important requirement to cook sous-vide is precise temperature control over the the water bath's temperature and even distribution of heat throughout the whole bath. Yes, the equipments you just mentioned can do a very good job. The only problem is the costs of those equipments. They are originally designed for the scientific lab market where high costs are more tolerated and justified. In some cases, they often over-killed for their unintended applications.
A word of caution on old scientific baths and immersion heater circulators: most of these equiptments were deposed for good reasons, either they are not performing to specifications or they were just plain too old and their life spans are numbered.