From: Sunny Gloroius Central Oregon
Would LOVE to have the Bernina 830, I just have the 200e with upgrade to be like 730. I have been so impressed with it, it was my first new machine in 33 years and I love it and find it easy to use, not finicky and pretty much trouble free. However I that is me just tooting how wonderful I have found my earlier model.
Along with DEALER being KEY, there is one other thing that doesn't get mentioned often and I think it helps elminate indecision. All the dealers should not only demo the machine to you, but they should allow you to sit down and run it. both regular sewing and embroidery. We all learn on different machines, and while they are similar they are different. Somethings we can adjust to more easily and somethings we will always struggle with. For example the Viking I believe always lifts the foot when you quit sewing (you probably can program it to not but I don't know for sure) and that was something I knew immediately I would not adjust to even thou I could see some real positive merit to it doing so. Pay attention to how much fiddling is required by the person showing you, if produces lovely results but you had to fiddle with this and that, then this and finally that each and every time trust me it will be daunting and you won't use it. I can't stress enough how important ease of use is. Watching someone zip thru several steps will quickly lose you and when you get home you will be lost and frustrated........ Don't be afraid to sit down at the machine and try doing some stuff so you get the "feel" of it.
Second, pick something you have had difficulty in the past performing with your sewing machine and ask to try it. For example I am picky about button holes, the best ones I ever saw were the ones made by the old straight stitch singers with the attachment you used the cams in. When I went looking, the only machine that produced the results I was interested in was the Bernina. I like a button hole double stitched and most machine do OKAY for a first pass, but can not seem to repeat exactly around the hole a second time. That being a pet peeve of mine, it was important. Ironically I have not made one button hole since I got my new sewing machine six years ago!
Good luck with your decesion and know that if you are happy with it and it preforms in the way you want it to, you are well supported by your dealer, you made the right decision no matter the brand. I truthfully don't believe I would be happy with anything but a Bernina, but I have seen people that have other brands and are over the top in love with them.... produce lovely projects..... and wouldn't trade them for anything...... ;-)