I have the SQ 9000 and like Carla I discovered the SQ 9000 doesn't really like heavy fabrics like denim. So I use my Janome 11543 for fabrics like that.
I would get the one you looked at, it's well worth the money. And just because it doesn't come from your LQS doesn't mean it's inferior either. Just less expensive.
The Brother Company doesn't make "inferior" machines to sell a places such as Wal Mart and another machine for LQS or Sewing centers. I think that dealer just wants to sell you a machine that does the same thing for triple the price.