Hi Sharon, if you are able to get to a john Lewis store they usually have a good range of makes and if you call them before hand to check if they have a demonstrator coming in or available in store.
I haven't done any sewing for a long while but invested in a Janome quite a few years ago and was very pleased with it. i was a bit ambitious at the time as i wanted to try some embroidery on fabric to add to cards but i never went down that route, but also ended up buying a small one that was unbranded as such, just with the JL name on it, especially just to stitch on card. Its a pain to thread but stitches well. Years ago I had a singer and it got well used, I used to make my own clothes but sadly the machine got dropped and although superglue worked well to repair damage it never felt the same again
but that was all year ago now!
I'm sure all makes have changed so much over the years with modern technology, it would be best to see if you can see some working.
Some even have automatic needle threading cartridges. I wish mine had that lol but it does have a little assister bar that does help. I think mine can also do quilting but it's never been used for it lol
I only wet for the Janome after being allowed to try one out in store.
Shame you don't live closer you could have come and had a play lol my machine could do with using lol xx