The only difference I have ever noticed between the bigshot and the cuttlebug is that the cuttlebug works better for Sizzix Dies that require the crease pad. My friends with big shots will often use my cuttlebug for their dies requiring the use of the crease pad because the bigshot will just cut through where it should be a crease.
I would also suggest looking at the eBosser if you have not. It can handle 8.5x12 sheets of paper and the 8.5x11 embossing folders.
I have the cuttlebug and the eBosser, love them both. They work nicely with embossing folders and all kinds of dies. The cuttlebug is nice and compact. The eBosser can do multiple cuts or emboss several folders all at once.
I disagree with working mommy, my cuttlebug can take the same dies the big shot can, with the exception of the Pro dies, which are designed for 12x12. I have several bigz dies and use them regularly with my cuttlebug.
You CAN get a magnetic platform for the cuttlebug. There's a long one called "Genius." You can also get a magnetic sheet and cut it to any size you need. I often use such a sheet, or even two together as part of a sandwich, to cut any thickness of thin metal dies.
I bought the "Genius" platform for my cuttlebug and it was not cheap. The saddest part is, is that it is a really tight fit. I have to pull to get the genius platform through my cuttlebug! Does anyone else have this problem? Thanks.
Love my big shot. Works with tons of different dies (bigz and spellbinders are my favorites). The embossing is great as well. I have never used the cuttlebug though.....but the big shot is awesome imo.
I have the cuttlebug and love it. But I've never tried anything else. But I think if I had a choice, I'd invest in the Ebosser. I've seen the videos and it looks awesome. Plus, I have a friend swears by it!
I first bought the old, red Sizzix with the handle that you push down. Then I got a Cricut and a Texturizing Boutique. I recently got a Big Shot because of the embossing that I wanted to do. Some of the folders I wanted to use won't fit in the TB. I also like the Big Shot because it came with the multi-cut platform. I can use it for any size dies and the ones that are fussy, with little, minute details cut so much better on it than the comparable Cricut cuts. I love the Cricut for most things, but things like curliques, tiny leaves and branches, etc. just work better with dies.