First of all I have to say thank you to everyone who took the time to leave me their thoughts and stories about their machines. It really helped me figure out which machine I should get.
I finally decided on the Singer Stylist 7258. The endorsement from the Consumers Digest Report, the great personal reviews on several sites and all of your advice were the reasons why I got the Singer Stylist and I am not disappointed!
It is a great machine and you can't beat the price. It's hard to believe such a good machine is priced so low. I did manage to get it on sale for $100 off which was a big plus.
It came with several feet including one for a rolled hem, and a gathering foot. Those are sure time savers.
I don't even know what half of them are, so if any of you could help me out, I'd appreciate it. Of course I know what the button hole foot is, but the first one in the bottom row is one I'm curious about. The next one is the rolled hem foot, and then the overcast foot, the gathering foot and the satin stitch foot, or is it the blind stitch foot? It also has the embroidery foot with the darning plate. I've never used one before and am anxious to try it out.
The funnest part was bringing it home and watching our daughter learn to use all of the different stitches and how much fun a good machine is. That was the icing on the cake! She has already started a new project that will be a gift for someone, but mums the word, I don't want to spoil the surprise!
Thanks to everyone's wonderful advice, the decision to get this machine became just a starting point for a later purpose. Our next machine will be a higher grade Janome that we will be saving up for, then our daughter and I can sew together at the same time. I really debated on this issue, getting this Singer versus getting the higher priced Janome. What tilted the scale was the fact that the Singer had 100 stitches compared to 50 stitches, 6 button holes compared to 3, several extra sewing feet and the endorsement.
I also have to add that the machine is extremely quiet and has the sound of a very solid machine. If you are in the market for a beginning or intermediate sewing machine, carefully consider this one. I do not believe you will be disappointed.
Again, thank you for your help everyone!!