I have had a rather inexpensive Brother machine for 2-3 years ans I loved it. However, it started to misbehave - too much presser foot pressure cause it to not feed fabric properly, hardly feeding at all. As it has no way to adjust the pressure, I took it in to be fixed and they said it would cost as much as I paid for it to fix it. So, I figured that it's time for a new machine.
I am torn. My husband feels that the machine should have lasted longer than this, and I tend to agree. But I also feel that given the amount of sewing I have done and the amount of traveling the machine went through, I got what I paid for.
I am not looking to spend a lot of cash, but want a reliable, well built machine with only a few more beeps and whistles. I am looking at a Brother PC-420 Project Runway or a Janome DC1050. Never had a Janome but I hear good things. This is about the amount of money I wish to spend and they both have a larger harp area and the features I am looking for.