[QUOTE=catalyst;586694 When I told the guy I'm a newbie to sewing, he started steering me away from the older machines. [/QUOTE]
ahhhhh... yeah actually that makes sense. A good high quality newer electronic machine is marginally easier to learn on because features have improved significantly. All the "automatic" features such as tension and such means less learning curve you have to go through. I'll revise my assessment of the owner based on this new report. You might want to go back and talk to him about the projects you want to do. And the features you need. Don't forget... any private sale from craig's list or ebay may need to be serviced so the cost differential may not be as great as they appear.