I bought a small Bernette for travel and am sorry I did. They are not made by Bernina and are cheap piece of plastic. I agree with everything Prism said. I am most familiar with Janome because that's the only local dealer we have. I know several friends who bought the Janome Gem basically for a travel/workshop , machine, but I'm not sure it has the features you're looking for. The Janome 3160 is a great machine for new quilters. I started out with the Heart Truth machine and have traded up each year until now I have the 6600 and love it!
If you are limited in budget, I would definitely ask the dealer if they have a nice machine that has been traded in. I have many quilting friends who "have" to have the latest model and will trade almost every other year if not every year to get the latest thing out there.
Good Luck and welcome to Quilting!