It looks like you have to buy new cartridges for new shapes (similar to Cricut). With an initial investment of $500, plus new cartridges at $39.99 to $69.99 (OUCH!!), this is one super expensive cutter! Personally, if I had that much cash, I would buy one of the bigger die cutters that use your computer and take 12X12 paper and cut chipboard. I'm not a big chipboard person and don't have much need for bigger designs, so my original Silhouette works great for me. I can use any font on my computer for titles, and I can make my own designs. I've done things like a print and cut of the Vegas skyline and a Purdue train logo for my son's truck.
With all the tutorials out there to help you along, a die cutter that hooks to your computer seems to be the more economical solution in the long run!
I have one, got it July 2010, have used it 4 times.
There are several features this cutter has that the Cricut does not which was the #1 reason I got it, I had a 6 x 12 Cricut, but wanted a machine that would cut 12 x 12.
I selected this over the Cricut Expression because of the features and the fact that I was "told" the cost of the cartridges would remain BELOW $30, well that hasn't happened!
There is a learning curve with this machine and I find it frustrating and probably the reason I haven't used it as much as I thot I would.
As luck would have it, in Oct of 2010 my hubby got me a Pazzles as my anniversary present. It connects right up to my laptop and I use it all the time.
I have tried several times to sell my eClips, no takers, took it to a Crop last weekend and am now glad that I haven't gotten rid of it. I can't carry the Pazzles to a Crop, but the eClips I can, so I'll hang onto it for the reason.
Now I just need to sit down and learn how to use it. I have 5 cartridges and don't anticipate that I'll be buying anymore, especially since the cost went up $10-20 within 6 months of its release. I have noticed they haven't released nearly as many new cartridges as I thot they would.
My 2 cents, if you haven't got one, don't. If you want a cutter and feel comfortable using a PC, get one of these that connect to it. Cheaper in the long run.
Used the eclipse at work (LSS) and NOT fond of it. It's not user friendly. I have a Cricut Expression and highly recommend it over the eclipse. The one at work "locks up" quite a lot. There is definitely a learning curve involved. The only real advantage over the cricut is the pre-cut laser feature so you can see beforehand if your cut will fit on your last little piece of that favorite paper. It was better for me to just buy the Gypsy for that.