I purchased my semi-Industrial Bernina 950 machine in 2001. I don't remember the exact price, but I want to say I paid right around $1,700. (You can get one here: Click here for Bernina, Tacsew, Refrey Sewing Machines and Juki Sergers from AllBrands.com.) I managed to get my local Bernina Dealer to get it for me for the price I would have had to pay to get it thru the mail from a catalogue. I used it daily for 3 or 4 years with no major problems. I was doing contract sewing that required me to straight stitch and then zig zag every seam, like a false flat felled seam. I was using the buttonhole on the jackets I was making at that time too.
This is considered a craft machine because it has decorative stitches and a built in buttonhole. I know that some people don't like it because it has plastic gears inside.
It is not as fast as a regular Industrial Machine and I don't use it as often right now because its slower than my Industrial straight stitch Pfaff.
A person I did Contract Sewing for had one, so that was how I was introduced to it. When I was waiting for my work to be finished, or if there was something she needed done right away before I went home for a week, I used hers. I got to the point in my sewing that I *needed* a faster machine. The first time I did a job on it, I finished so fast I was truly stunned.
Our machines both ended up with the same problem. The hand dial (I'm bad at names for stuff, its how you move the needle up and down) has a loosener for winding the bobbin, that wears out very quickly. I never saw hers work and mine wore out before the first year was thru. When I want to wind bobbins I have to take the bobbin case out, because I can't keep the needle from going up and down. This wasn't really a big deal when I sewed for her because we only used 2 or 3 thread colors and I could wind all the bobbins at once. You *can* wind a bobbin while you are sewing. I really don't even think about it, but it is an issue with the machine since we both had it happen. Mine was fixed once, but I've given up, I won't even ask to have it fixed again.
Overall, I really love the machine, I wish I had more to do on it. It is smooth and sturdy and comes with a bunch of feet (including an applique and zipper foot).
Bobbins are expensive, I think I had to pay 2.25 each.
Bernina Tacsew 950 Genuine Original Proprietary Solid Metal Empty Bobbins 330-026-030 - Pack of 10, with No Extra Holes On Either Side (Singer FW 221)