I have 8 sewing machines, a serger & an industrial machine (Juki). Ahem. I obviously have a problem. 2 of my machines are Brothers. Both were purchased at Walmart, both I've never had problems with. The XL 6452 is one I've had for 8 or 9 years (not sure) & my absolute favorite, it's a work horse *knock on wood*. I won a Singer Curvy online last year, it's my second favorite. One machine is an Alden with a table I bought from my upholstery class teacher, I love it, too..it sings. Really, it does. The others are Singers that come with good tables-I bought them at estate sales & auctions. They all work like a dream. My serger is also one I got from Walmart, a Simplicity Serg Pro that I've had for about 7 years, too. I have my Singers serviced once a year & the others every 6 months cos they get a lot of use. I also do what I can at home to make sure they're always cleaned..even bought a mini-vacuum! My embroidery machine is an Innov-is 4000. It, too, has served me well. I think it's up to a person, really, as far as preference is concerned. My dream is to get a Babylock Evolution or Enlighten, though. *SIIIIIGH* Someday.
Good luck on your serger! I honestly don't know what I'd do without mine! And tying off is something that has saved my hubby from having to hear screams of frustration coming from the craft room, he's learned to do it, too.