Welcome to the Quilting Board!
I love my Janome!!
I have an old Singer and it sews over pins = no problems. I never heard of taking pins out til the new computerized machines....I'm glad that i can sew over them, since pins hold my seams together.
my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)
Whats your price range, i would go juki they have the strongest motors, but i have to say my cadillac the brother dreamweaver can handle anything you throw at it, and has been so amazing, nothing like it
Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP
I love the machine I use the most, my old Brother Pacesetter 1250. Never thought I'd say that, as I used to be a diehard Singer fan. But I found this machine at a yard sale for $10 with a nice plastic case (case was worth more than that!) and it needed a power cord/foot pedal and a bobbin cover plate. Hmm, it might not even run...but it turned well and looked like new. Why not? Well, I'm also a diehard bargain shopper, and offered $5 just in case it didn't work, and she said YES! Wow, what a deal! I took it to my local parts/repair shop and he had a cord he let me have for FREE! Turns out the only one he had was one he had to splice and he wouldn't charge me for it, no danger - he just didn't think it was right to charge me. And the plastic replacement cover for the bobbin space was only $4. I bought a bag of bobbins for $6 (partly cause I felt a little guilty getting a working machine for so cheap, lol) which meant a perfectly working machine for about $10 total. Wait, there's more - the absolute best part is I have learned how to set the timing when I do knock it out of time. That's the reason I own 23 assorted machines in various states of disrepair - to learn how to work on them. I try not to be so hard on it, but occasionally my projects can be a little, ahem, difficult.... But the first time it happened I really didn't have a lot to lose, so why not try and fix it. I now can fix it in just a few minutes with a few turns of the allen wrench. Love this machine and the ease in fixing it.
The Pfaff Ambition Essential is about $599 right now, I would buy one of them if I really needed a new machine, but I just bought a Nolting longarm so no more machines.
Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas
Why not look out for an old singer at cheap prices, yard sale etc. we have second hand shops which sometimes sell old machines. I have just purchased a featherweight singer to take to classes. Only goes forwards and backwards but it is light weight which is what I wanted and robust.
Finished is better than a UFO
My goodness, you have received as many comments on what not to do with your sewing machine than you have on your original question...I would look at the Kenmore. I had one for many years, before I got my Viking embroidery machine, and it would sew anything.. Good Luck..