I have to listen to my mom talk about sewing machines regularly.
She has been a homeEc teacher for 21 years now, and a county extension agent for 15 years before that! She has seen them all!
If you want to do a lot of applique and embrodery, even by hand, a Bernina or a Pfaff is the way to go. For simple sewing and a machine that is tough as nails, get a Viking. Not the new daisy, or whatever it is called, it is made by White.
I am glad you have had a good experience with your White, mama-kass, but I would never, ever buy one. They have unpredictable quality.
The way to get a good machine for pretty cheap is to go to a good repair shop and buy a reconditioned machine that is at least 15 years old. Mom got me a "new" Viking for my last birthday this way. It is 27 years old and I absolutely love it. It is a nicer model, but solid as anything and sews anything like butter. It is my other baby!
Actually, if you want another tough as nails, sew anything heavy machine, the Singer Jeans machine from, I think the early-mid 70's is a good one.
If you do get a new one, then I agree with the Kenmore recommend, they are pretty good, otherwise you have to pay quite a bit to get a really good machine. As the saying goes, they just don't make them like they used to!
When you do get a machine, make sure you ask about either a class or an informal one on one training in your machine. It is nice to have someone explain all the features and really show them to you instead of you figuring them out a few years down the road. Even if you don't use, or don't think you will use a feature, at least you know it is there!