as with most things it is truly what works for YOU. I use my stitch regulator all the time. A blog friend has one and sometimes does not realize it has been turned off! I love quilting with my long arm...and yet, I see quilters online all the time that do WONDERFUL work on their domestic machines-more than I can do on my long arm. See if you can find someone who will let you try and quilt with and w/o a stitch regulator. If you can go to a show, try out every machine you can get your hands on. Even if its not in your price range. Get a feel for them. One will call your name and fit your budget!