I got my Silhouette last month and I love it! I couldn't be happier with it. It came with a 6 month free download card, and then your other 6 months are given to you half price.
You can cut almost anything (thicker cardstock you may have to go over, but this is REALLY simple to do) and they also have 2 other options; Print and Cut, and sketch.
Print and Cut: This is where you choose your images and get it situated and print them on a regular printer, then you load that paper into the Silhouette and it cuts your images. And the best part is you can also make your own.
Sketch: They are making new images just for this feature and you simply insert a special sketch pen and instead of cutting the image it will draw it for you.
Silhouette is also constantly coming up with new features and now they have a rhinestone program out, where you use special images and you use transfer paper and put the image on a card, clothing etc. and easily decorate it with rhinestones.
I'm not sure how this machine compares to others, but the only downside I could see is that it doesn't cut 12x12 which may be a downside for scrapbookers. Although I scrapbook, I don't use this size so it really isn't a problem for me. I'm not sure if you have checked out their blog, but its great and shows all the features better than I could describe. http://silhouettemachine.blogspot.com/
I hope this helps and has answered any questions you may have. SOrry for the wordy response.