A few weeks ago I mentioned having purchased a used Husquvarna Designer. I finally got it set up and used it yesterday and today.
First of all, I love the quarter inch stitch - it is exact and makes it much easier to make an accurate 1/4 inch seam. And the auto lift is difficult to get used to, but after several hours of sewing, I think I am ok with it - I didn't reach back to lift the foot the last hour or so I was sewing this evening.
I knew a few of the stitches don't work, and I was disappointed that the stipple stitch does not work. However, with the free motion, I should be able to stipple without a preset pattern. I haven't tried free motion as yet, but I did buy the Harriet Hargrave book on machine quilting today to get some ideas about the best process for achieving a good look. So, right now, I say my purchase was a good choice.
I am now thinking about selling my Viking 500 that I bought in 1997 or 1998. It is in great shape and has been a wonderful machine. A used one on Ebay sold today for $615, so that is a good indicator.