I'm frequently asked what kind of sewing machine I use, so I thought this is a great opportunity to show you!
For most of my sewing experience/time, I've used a Bernina 1008. It's a great mechanical machine that can do a lot of tasks, including bag making, free motion quilting, piecing with accuracy, and more. I was a 1 machine gal until very recently- and this was my one machine. I did purchase a Juki TL2000 after taking a class with Victoria Findlay Wolf and watching her sew FAST., and I absolutely love it! It's fast and furious! 1500 SPM and only a straight stitch. Mechanical, no frills, and a beast - she can handle layers too.
I also mention my Bernina 350 in this video because she was half the price of the other machines and I do use her for specific things like button holes and specialty stitching. More info in the video!
I strongly suggest you VISIT your LQS and establish a relationship with them so you feel comfortable explaining what you need. Most of the time, you'll be using the straight stitch, so don't spend thousands on decorative stitches unless you are SURE you want to.
Local shops are a national treasure - what you invest in them, you get back 100-fold - but it is UP TO YOU to make it happen.
Ask questions, be direct, and take time to think it over. Anyone worth their salt won't pressure you or make you feel hurried.
Ok- that's it. I'm not a machine expert and don't claim to be. I don't get any kickbacks from any of the above companies. I don't know everything about every machine out there, and I don't care to. I found what works for me, so I stick to it. Have fun exploring and learning!