My mother, a very experienced (and frugal) seamstress needed a new machine. I decided to buy her a new machine but I had to keep her needs in mind (not my preferences!) At this point, she has no interest in learning new features. For example, she did not want a feature like "needle-up /needle-down". She uses the handwheel when she needs to put the needle up or down. This machine does everything she needs (including a beautiful buttonhole) and she sews garments, slipcovers, curtains; and her work is top notch. Also, she hates paying any more than necessary, so she would have been really mad at me if I went and spent $350 on something similar at the local dealer. This refurbished Janome was the perfect choice and she absolutely loves the machine. It has a metal casing and it's heavier than the plastic models on the market (in a big box store). But it was still way lighter than a vintage Kenmore (my other choice for her). She needs to tuck it away when not in use, so a 35 pound vintage machine was too heavy. I tested it out, too. It has a beautiful stitch and it tuns very smoothly with no rattling around on the table. I bet this machine will be a workhorse for a good long while. I would use it, too- except I love all the bells and whistles on the fancier models.