It was a good week for me. I unexpectedly put a sewing machine on layaway. I was a bit worried that I'd been duped by the salesperson, or that he used some kind of Jedi Mind Trick on me, but after talking about it w/a couple of knowledgeable people, I'm convinced that I made an excellent decision, regardless of the salesperson's intent.
My previous machine (a basic model Singer...I forget the model name/number, etc) was acting wonky & kept jamming (very frustrating for a new-ish sewist!), so I took it to a local shop for service or a tune-up or whatever magick they might be able to work that would help me in my sartorial adventures. The guy I talked to asked the problem, what I was sewing, how & when the problem occurred. I told him I had been trying to sew doll t-shirts w/some jersey knit from old t-shirts of my own. The machine had a tendency to jam after stitching for an inch or two. He explained to me how the bobbin carriage in these machines is prone to jamming because it rocks back & forth. A rotary bobbin (I think that's what he called it) rotates in a full circle, doesn't need oiling, & doesn't jam.
He showed me some of their machines, ranging in price from a couple hundred $USD to several thousand $USD (thousand!!!!). He showed me the guts of a few different machines & explained how quality machines have a solid metal frame inside & this makes them sturdier & that machines built this way last longer, in general. Then, he said the magic words: "...layaway. 10% down, 90 days to pay the balance."
So, I have a Janome MyStyle 100 on layaway. The machine comes with 6 hours of sewing instruction over three ongoing classes, which I can take as many times as I'd like, I'm told. Also, a 25 year parts & service warranty. I think I did pretty alright, really. :o)