I LOVE MY WISHBLADE but Do Your Research!!! (24 November 2009)
I have had my Wishblade for two years now and absolutely LOVE IT!!! I have an old laptop that I keep around that's just for running the Wishblade that has a wireless card just so I can download free fonts and clip art for it. I use it for every layout I do and although I've had to fight it to do some things, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
I take it to crops all the time (...I bought a super-big laptop bag with wheels and it all fits in there I even have a tiny printer I bring along too!) I had this before the CriCut craze happened. A lot of people had trouble working this machine even after I showed them over and over how to run the software and set up the paper in the cutter. I ended up having to tend to it during most of the crops..and it was all user error. I really made me mad that they were so careless with it, but lesson learned. This machine is not for everyone!
The last crop I went to there were 5 CriCuts, so I got to keep my Wishblade to myself. I played with the other machine a bit and I thought it was really neat, but limiting for me. I bought the Wishblade because I wanted lots and lots of fonts and didn't want to pay out the nose for each one. I also wanted to be able to draw my own stuff. I've been able to figure out how to use Adobe Illustrator and cut directly from there--it's AMAZING what it can do. All of the CriCut users were in awe over the cool tree silhouettes I was cutting out just using a dingbats font...
But, could I have done this without my extensive knowledge of computers and graphics software programs??? PROBABLY NOT. If you're a plug and play kind of person (like most of the people that attend the crops I go to) the Wishblade is probably not for you. But if you want to make the initial investment to buy this machine and take some time and common sense to learn to use it...it's really the most versitile thing out there and will pay for itself over time.
Bottom line is, do your research. What's good for one person is not good for another. This was WONDERFUL for ME. My best friend, however, prefers the CriCut because it's easier for her to use...and she only spent $200 on an additional 3 whole fonts (sarcasm here)... The Wishblade is definitely worth it, but don't expect it to work all on its own.
Don't be afraid of this thing though...it's not that complicated if you're just doing titles and simple clip art. The user manual (at least for mine) stunk and was not worth the paper it was printed on (there are even typos in it!). The best thing I could say to do is go to crops, use them all, and then buy what you think is good for you--I'm a Wishblade believer all the way!!!