Last year I purchased a refurbished Singer 2662 directly from their website at www.Singer.com
to replace my Singer Stylemate which doesn't have the free-arm or the see-thru bobbin cover. I paid $159 which I think is a decent price for the features. They included most presser feet that will be needed and includeda dust cover. I like both machines. They both work great. I too had been looking at various brands and models in the stores, but decided this was the best deal.
I never test drove any of my sewing machines, but they all work well. My 1st machine was a featherweight Singer....bought back in the '60s....DH uses it.
You can't always go by what Consumer Reports says. I have a Toastmaster Bread Maker's Hearth that they didn't have much good to say about it and I LOVE it....don't want any other toaster oven unless they come out with one that has a convection feature.