I FINALLY have a sewing machine again!! The Janome dealer graciously switched out the Grey front 8900 (that was having issues) for a new Blue model. I've now had a chance to get somewhat acquainted with this brand of machines.
Here's some first impressions:
LIKES: 11" workspace, free arm, good lighting, knee lift, presser foot lever, extra high lift to pressure foot, speed control, needle down, Accufeed feet in two sizes, comes standard with lots of feet, a soft cover, and a really sturdy extension table, pre-programed 1/4" dedicated setting, ease of pattern selection and storage of customized stitches, single hole stitch plate that actually has 3 holes: center - left and right to provide more accurate seam width options, and easy bobbin replacement and threading.
DISLIKES: no low bobbin reminder, a biggie dislike; screen display does not ajust size of stitches as they are changed (for instance - zig-zag stitch identifier will not enlarge or reduce....which would be soooo much handier to view than guessing), Accufeed feet are too bulky and it's a pain attaching and detaching them, Narrow Accufeed needs fabric leader at the edge of fabric in order to actually stitch the first 1/4" - ridiculous!! Unnecessary embroidery stitches.....and of course that's one of the reasons machines are priced so high these days.....it's frustrating that in order to get a machine with a larger harp, one has to pay for so many things that are not wanted, not needed, and will never be used.
So with all this said, it turned out to be a good choice for me. Yes, full disclosure, I have been part of the Bernina Ambassador Program for many years....they make great machines. However, the initial cost, plus all the extras for the type of machine I required was simply not in my budget. Happily, numerous people steered me toward the Janome.