-you can't mail a sewing machine (or iron) halfway across the country, and expect it to be in perfect condition when it arrives. especially if it's handled by UPS and not mailed in it's original box. they might (and did!) drop-kick it in transit...and it may never be the same. and you'll be sad when you've realized what happened...and it might be too late to do much about it except spend more moolah, scrambling to get it fixed and/or find a permanent/temporary replacement. which is, of course, a hassle. because you might find yourself driving out to the chicago suburbs on a sunday to do so...in traffic, with an antsy 14 month old. which is, of course, a bit stressful. and so on.
-there is (generally) a HUGE difference between the expensive sewing machine (or iron, or even, camera, to extend this further, if you wish) and the cheaper one. the more expensive one FEELS different to sew on than the cheaper one, it's been engineered more carefully and is (generally) made out of better, higher quality materials. using a better machine is akin to driving a REALLY, REALLY nice car, like, say, a bmw or mercedes, while sewing with a cheaper machine is perhaps more like driving a budget mobile, like, uh, a toyota camry. they both get you where you have to go, but the nicer one feels COMPLETELY different to handle and probably has more bells and whistles.
-but it almost goes without saying: using a more expensive sewing machine (iron, camera, car, etc.) does NOT make you a better sewer (ironer, photographer, driver, etc.). it can definitely make things easier for you as you go along but all the extras mean nothing if you don't know how to use them, and definitely don't mean anything if your base skills aren't up to snuff.
-continuing the sentiment from that last note and the note above it, just because you have the fancy-dancy machine, doesn't mean you need all it's fancy features. some of that stuff they offer can really make your sewing (etc.) life easier, but some of it is probably just superfluous stuff you'll never really use or get around to using in a million years. it's marketing hype that's there to convince you, via your sewing machine dealer, to buy something at a higher price point (regardless of whether you are really realistically apt to use any of it). sure, the embroidery attachment is really COOL, but do you need it?? or the pages and pages of decorative stitches? maybe not. but you could use the powerful motor, a nice selection of buttonholes, a wide assortment of useful, every day sort of stitches, things of that nature. it's never bad to be a little pragmatic when buying something like a sewing machine (camera, car, etc.). the best you can afford without going overboard and all that.
-always have a back-up machine. even the nice machines go down (in flames, sometimes!)...you don't have to spend a lot of money on the second one. you could buy used, or buy cheap. on the subject of the latter, don't expect it to be like your everyday, workhorse machine, because at that (LOW LOW!) price point, it just ain't. and never will be. but it works *just good enough* to get you by in the interim. and that's okay.
and as a bonus adage for those who might need it:
here's a (sewing applicable) life lesson that i learned from one of my professors at parsons, that i still remember, heed, and toss out a lot to other people (probably multiple times on this here blog, too, over the years!). it is this:
the long way is the short way.
(do it right the first time and you won't spend time later doing it over again. or, there are really no shortcuts. take your time and do it right.)