I wanted to add some info for the orignal poster. I have my work space in a makerspace as well which has several laser cutters and 3 printers.
In regard to cutting veg tan ( the stock I have is un dyed). You need to spend some time playing with your power settings and speed settings (mm/sec). Too little power with high speed wont cut anything, and on the flip side too much power on too slow of a speed will char and ruin the leather. Take the time to find the best settings for each thickness of leather you will be using. Ideally, you want to go with a single pass as multiple passes will likely cause more charring then is absolutely necessary. With the right settings there will be a very small charring on the edge that was cut, but a wet paper towel and a very light sand will remove everything leaving you with a clean precision cut piece. After that if you bevel and dye anyways there will be no difference at all in the cut.
About chrome tan - my results have been mixed. Too much power can burn or alter the finish of the leather. At the same time, with the right setting and the above steps to remove the char it can be a viable option as well.
Engraving - I havent too much experience with this so i cant contribute that but from my understanding it would not be the same as tooling or even using stamps. The laser will burn away the leather to create the pattern.
Stitching holes - doing this has crossed my mind, but I like using my irons too much to really go with it. Perhaps in the future ill give a try to marking the stitching as an alternative to using a stitching iron, but outside of mass producing a item I would prefer the hand touch that goes with a iron.
Smell - Cutting leather will create a burnt hair smell. You wont win any friends at the makerspace with that unless you keep the machine closed and vented until the smoke has cleared.
One of the advantages I have found with using the laser cutter is that it allows you to design and create your projects in Illustrator or Inkscape and see how everything looks and will go together before you even touch leather. When you are in a place like where I am where every bit of leather has to be imported from abroad it makes for much less wastage. Additionally, when creating large batches of blanks you can be sure that the accuracy is down to the mm because everything is computer controlled. Finally, the possibilities to have an entire library of designs and products on your computer that you can cut on demand is quite a benefit if you are producing leather goods in a small business setting. This is combined with the ability to make them incredibly intricate as well.
I understand some of the criticism about taking away the hand make aspect of cutting, but I would like to echo Charlie's statement that the process of cutting using more and more specialized tools is simply human nature. Who decides at what point progression of tools stops. I can say that spending hours working on a pattern, and more importantly learning how to use the design software to do it is no picnic and a specialized skill in and of itself. There is definitly a human hand in the entire process. That being said I only stitch by hand which is something that I enjoy immensely and I am happier to have more time to spend on creasing, marking, and stitching once the leather has been cut. I hope one day to study under a master and continue my leather education to do this professionally, but until then I am self taught and try to use any tools that will produce a beautiful end result.
Just my 2 cents on the subject as someone who started their leather journey in a makerspace.....