The Bernina 153 is no longer in production, but if you have a chance to pick one up used, you will not regret it. My husband bought this machine for me for the reliability, the great customer service, and the fact that it had just the right mix of features that I needed. I have used this machine to sew everything from a french lace bonnet to a king-size quilt. I have sewn leather, chiffon, drapery material, and fine batiste with laces. All materials go through the machine with ease. Quilting and smocking are my favorite sewing projects, and the Bernina 153 does everything I need. For quilting, the 153 has a very large amount of space in the open arm area to handle just about any size quilt. The needle-down feature has come in handy numerous times as I need to stop and turn while doing straight line quilting with the walking foot. This foot must be purchased separately, but it has been invaluable for quilting. Smocked garments are handled quickly and efficiently with the Bernina 153. The open-toe embroidery foot enables me to see how to complete the neck binding on a smocked dress with ease. Dress hems are a dream with the built in hem stitch and the hem stitching foot. You can even make a scalloped hem and finish it with a decorative stitch. I know that many newer machines have a lot of bells and whistles, but I have yet to be tempted to one that can handle my own sewing needs for a low price.