I feel like I have looked at a hundred sewing machines, but it's actually about thirty, total, at six different places.
They all start to blend together, so thank goodness for brochures. Would I like the $3500 does-everything-but-cook-supper model in the pretty sewing cabinet with a gazillion attachments? Absolutely. Do I need such a machine, or would I use all those swanky features? Probably not. I make quilts, not couture for royalty. I'm looking for power, durability, and precision, not swank.
I think, at this point, I've narrowed it down to the Brother Simplicity SB3129 (at about $500, it's by far the least expensive, but I wonder if the price is indicative of durability), the Pfaff Ambition 1.0 (just under $1,000) the BabyLock Tempo ($720) and the BabyLock Melody ($1300). Both BabyLock machines are very similar, except for a few handy features (like automatic thread cutting) and attachments (an extension table included) but are those features worth $600?? In fact, all of the machines are very similar. Now it's just deciding how many bells and whistles I need/want/am willing to pay for (let alone justifying spending that much money on a hobby in the first place) and which brand seems to have the most staying power.
I have a couple of weeks to decide.