My vote, if you want a new machine, is a Juki 98Q. It's all metal, straight stitch with a 9 inch throat and a thread cutter. If I could afford it, I would have two of them. She will live forever, as long as you oil her. She is speedy and has the thread cutter, and self threading feature (though not a low bobbin warning). And is the closest thing i have found to the old workhorses of the past, like a Singer 15-91.
I think online you can find one in the neighborhood of $800.
I will NEVER trade mine in for anything. I may get a long arm, but the Juki stays. (along with the 15-91, BTW).