I am a Silhouette die cutting machine user, and in the past had not had any problems with them. Recently though my subscription for new designs expired and I was forced to renew if I wished to continue to get new designs without paying individually for them, which can cost more money with how many designs I buy. When I did this though I discovered that the subscription that I used to have was no longer an option. Deciding that I did in fact wish to continue with this machine rather than starting over with a new product and losing all the designs that I had already accumulated I get a smaller subscription wishing that it would be enough...it isn't. See my old subscription allowed me to get as many designs as I wanted a month for a flat rate that I had prepaid, the price of the individual designs didn't matter. The new subscription on the other hand instead gives me a dollar amount at a reduced price to use in the online design store. I wouldn't have a huge problem with this is the individual designs prices seemed to be regulated, but they don't. I had never paid much attention to price of an individual design in the past since it didn't matter with the old subscription, now since I am I'm seeing two designs that are the same except for the wording costing two different prices. I don't understand why. Needless to say since I have had problems with my actual machine for a while now I am not happy with the company, who is now independent from QuicKutz, and I have sent them an e-mail stating such. I don't expect much to come from it, but since I'm now locked into another year with the machine I felt the need to let them know they had an unhappy customer.
If you are looking for a die cutting machine I would NOT recommend the Silhouette. I have had problems with my mat sticking since the second week I owned it. To get a new mat costs $25 which I think is insane! I also have problems with it getting jammed since the mat is less sticky and the machine moves the paper through the machine about a dozen times before it actually begins to cut. This is both frustrating, and problematic if you are cutting something in a hurry or don't have a ton of space to set the machine up. Finally with the subscription problems I'm now having, I would recommend looking at other machines rather than the Silhouette. I can't say anything about the others since I have never used any other digital design cutter but I hear great things about Provo Crafts Cricut, at least they don't lock you into a year long subscription with cancellation fees if you are dissatisfied with their service!
I'll post later with the promised cards and layout, I just had to vent first!