If you're looking for a cheap sewing machine, try your local sewing machine store, if you're lucky enough to have one!
I walked into mine, gazed at all the gleaming new complex machines and said, "Um, I'd like a machine that sews forward and backward. Zig-zag would be nice too." They went into the back room and brought out a great reconditioned 1960's Singer that did all of the above and more -- for $50. I've had two minor issues with it and they fixed both for free (even though one was, um, user error
) because they were the ones who reconditioned it. It's a fabulous machine! :D