HisGems, great breakdown on all the machines out there.
I bought a Cricut when they first came out. Had it for two days and returned it. For me, it was just to complicated and hard to figure out where what went and stuff. Not to mention all the cartridges.
I then bought the Silhouette (original one)fell in love immediately! No cartridges, easy online diecuts - especially at 5:00 on a Sunday night and you want to put a vine diecut on your layout and you don't have one!
I just ordered the Cameo and received Saturday. Spent all day Sunday playing with it and watching videos of ALL the stuff it can cut.
I got mine on e-bay, I made sure the seller was an authorized seller of Silhouette products. I didn't pay as much as I would have from Silhouette directly.