My husband purchased a new Janome sewing machine for me about 8 years ago as a Christmas gift; after much hinting by me (think pictures of sewing machines in his briefcase, on the bathroom mirror etc. My best friend is an experienced seamstress and went with him to purchase the machine to ensure he purchcased the best machine for the money.
I had never heard of the Janome brand, but was thrilled to get it for Christmas. My friend assured me it was a great brand and would give me many years of use. This is a great machine for someone who is just getting into sewing or quilting, or someone who hasn't sewn for quite awhile. My Janome has a wide variety of stitches including straight, zig-zag, overcast, overedge, tricot stitch, triple strength stitch, buttonhole stitch, blind stitch hemming, rolled hemming, as well as five stretch stich patterns.
I currently use the Janome mostly for sewing quilt tops and wall hangings, table runners and other smaller quilted items. I machine quilt the smaller items and the machine works nicely for this purpose. It requires very little maintenance except for a drop of oil now and then and cleaning the dust out from around the bobbin case.
I will probably get a more expensive Janome machine at a later date when I get more comfortable with quilting again, but for the now this little machine does the job quite well. Janome makes a complete line of sewing machines and they are well made and have very few problems. If you are in the market for a new machine, either beginning or advance they are worth checking out.