My Sewing Machine7:40 PM
If you're looking to really invest in a sewing machine, the two best brands are Bernina and Pfaff. Other machines will do alright, but it's my opinion that buying a used Bernina or Pfaff machine is better than a new machine of another brand.
Having used both brands, I like them both and they both pretty much let me do whatever I want. However, I occasionally sew with leather and have found that Pfaff machines to sew through leather better.
I bought my machine (Bernina Virtuosa 153) used and refurbished. These machines had been the machines used for my sewing classes in college. I was sure to buy a machine with an automatic buttonhole maker and presser foot because that makes my life so much easier :). Other than that, I didn't/don't really care about too many other bells and whistles.
I don't use most of my stitch options most of the time. The stitching options I use the most are zig zag (#2 on machine), blind hem (#7), serpentine (#4) and buttonhole (#9). I also like to be able to move my needle position over from one side to the other.