We have had a number of discussions about what is the best/most economical sewing machine for quilting with lots of people weighing in. Having become frustrated with the fussyness of my Sapphire 870 I recently purchased a mechanical straight stitch Brother PQ1500S just for quilting. Excellent machine. Not fussy at all, any thread, no expensive servicing (can easily clean and oil yourself), powerful, and I have finally been able to freemotion quilt and really enjoy it.
OK - so yesterday I was at a dealer (taking a class unrelated to this) and I noticed the Baby Lock "Jane". Interestingly, an identical machine right down to the cute cartoons in the instruction manual. The only difference is the name. Baby lock, of course, is a bit more "upscale" than my humble Brother. But, like I said, these were completely identical machines.
Price? I paid $529 including shipping from Amazon two months ago. It has now gone up to $699, ouch. Have seen it as high as the 9 hundreds. The Baby Lock Jane - $1899 plus tax of course.
I think when making sewing machine purchases, it behooves us to try to do our homework and not be impressed by impressive names (and prices). The manufacturers do their best to keep us from comparison shopping by not publishing prices or giving them over the phone etc. But I think we need to recognize that there is a lot of game playing in this business and avoid being taken in.