Hi dovey, Have you decided on a basic sewing machine yet? I was interested in reading that Kenmore & Janome are now the same company. I think you sould probably be happy with a Brother (not that I have any experience at all..but based on what I read they make a good basic machine. As LibraryLady said, I too am a Viking fan..I sewed for years on a White (which is now part of Husqvarna Viking) & still love that machine & use it when I'm embroidering & need to straight stitch at the same time.
In a previous thread it was mentioned that the Viking salespeople are snobby..I never had that experience when I was in the process of purchasing my Viking. As a matter of fact the sales help are wonderful, knowledgeable gals/guy (owner) who do not pressure you while they are demonstating.
I hope you find a great machine that serves your purposes & may you have many, many years of sewing. Again, let us know what machine you decide on...It can be very confusing, but if you do it by the process of elimination, with your reasons for purchasing & the cost of the machine, you'll be happy with your final decision.
Have a wonderful Sunday!