I have a Brother 270D (my first machine) that you can purchase for about $450.00. It has a 4x4 emboridery field. This machine can be purchased at Walmart or an authorized Brother dealer. I also have the 8200D by Brother. I got it on a closeout because I wanted a machine with a bigger embroidery field. This one has a 5x7 field. Both machines have Disney on them (I believe that's what the D stands for) and both will sew. I use the 8200D for embroidering and the 270D for sewing (I didn't want to have to take the embroidery unit off and on everytime I needed to sew). Both machines come with fonts and designs in addition to the Disney. Personally I have never sewn any of the Disney designs because most of what I do I sell and it would be against the law for me to sell items with copyrighted Disney designs. My 8200D came with four different sized hoops. The 270D came with one hoop, but I purchased another that is 4x6 for a little larger sewing field. It is a money pit - one thing leads to another. When I first got my machine I was naive and thought that the machine did everything you needed-WRONG! I have a lot of additional software ($) for monogramming and editing. The editing software lets you merge and group different designs together, resize, change colors.... My 8200D has limited editing capabilities. You also need a transfer reader/writer box that comes with a card. This allows you to download designs from the internet and transfer them from your computer to your machine. I have the PED Basic Reader/Writer Box which can be purchased at Walmart for about $129.00. I believe these boxes range from about $120.00-$300.00. Some more expensive machines have USB ports where you can connect your machine and computer/laptop directly. It's great fun. I like my Brother machines and just recently purchased a serger/overlock machine and went with Brother since I have a great dealer who really takes a lot of time to explain things and offers classes (which I think most do) and Brother is all I have ever had. Brother has a website where you can check out their products www.brotherhomesewing.com
, they have alot of machines to choose from and most are alot nicer and have more bells and whistles than mine. I believe Babylock, Janome, Bernina, and Singer are all good machines as well. www.allbrands.com
sells machines and I have bought other items from them. Of course eBay is another source. If you want support though, you might want to go local in your area.