I know what you mean...I have been sewing machine snooping for a couple years...so when I decide on one I will know who has what. Well...there really isn't anyone I really think is a great shop. Sewing machine dealers need to wake up and know we are not just stupid housewives who don't know anything.
I talked to the owner of one of the shops here a while back and told him I was interested in just a newer machine with a bigger sewing area....I already have their embroidery machine (that I don't use any more for embroidery), he told be to trade in my expensive machine on a quilting one...for just $800. more. I said hmmm...that one has a 1.5" bigger harp....that is about $500 and inch for a no frills machine...no thanks I will suffer with mine. He laughed and said...guess that was true...and walked away.