It's too bad you aren't in Northern IL - I am selling my Janome 10001 for $1800 with 3D Embroidery Studio, the extension table, and a ton of floppy disks (really - hundreds of disks!)The machine takes the older 256mb Compact Flash, but your designs are usually on the computer anyway. You just need a memory card reader that allows CF. I am selling it only because I just don't need 2 embroidery machines taking up space. The Janome was great to take to class since you don't have a big bulky embroidery attachment to haul!
I started with the Babylock Ellure Plus because I wanted usb capable. I got a used Babylock Ellegante and really could tell the difference from the bottom line embroidery machine and the more expensive model.
I wanted a machine to cut jump threads, combine designs and text, a thumb drive, color screen, and a bigger hoop than the 5 x 7. The Ellegante is great, just older! Find out what you want from the embroidery machine first, and again find a dealer you can trust.
I am glad others have mentioned about the additional cost involved - wow! First thread and stabilizers, designs of course, and some of those designs take an hour to finish with 20 changes of thread!
I just gave my nephew a small quilt with machine embroidered nautical applique(he is in the navy, and another to my sister with a large garden gate embroidery design in the center. (The Ellegante also does well with quilting).
Best wishes on your search.