I wouldn't go with the Cricut, honestly you'd be much better off with a machine like the PAZZLES. With the Cricut you will be limited to buying cartridges and in the long run thats going to cost you a whole lot more than purchasing another machine. With the Pazzles or a cutter different from the Cricut you can cut just about any thing you can imagine. If you want to cut a font you are going to pay about 40.00 for that one font. With other machines you can cut just about any font you can download to your computer. Right now with the Pazzles promo it the best price point for a machine that is most like the Cricut.
SCAL, FAIRY CUT and MAKE THE CUT no longer work with the Cricut. I have never really liked Design Studio, I find it lacking. Also, if you want to do other fabric decoration, besides HTV (heat transfer vinyl), rhinestones and applique, Get a different machine.
The Cricut isn't a bad machine, its just the software-cartridges are very limiting. I have 2 but without the above mentioned software, they would have been ditched.
I have 6 different cutters (some women like shoes, some cutters) from 6" to 34". Be glad to answer any questions.
If you want to get input on cutter options and see a wide variety of projects, check out this forum. http://forum.make-the-cut.com/
. This site promotes make the cut software, but you'll see there's a whole world beyond the Cricut.