From somebody who has used a sewing machine since I coulod reach the treadle on my grandma's machine way back when, I have these few pieces of advice to offer.

Firstly one that has an automatic needle threader.

Secondly a variable stitch width and length. I hate the preset ones as they are never what the correct width or length I need.

Thirdly an automatic buttonhole maker. You don't need one that does half a dozen, one will do.

Fourthly one with a good light. Personally I prefer the single bulbs, but I don't think they are manufactured anymore, so we have to go with the more feeble LED thing. Well I reckon it is feeble anywhoo.

I have only used a top loading spool once, and although my present machine is a bottom loader, my preferance would be for a top loading one.

Unless you are 'keen' all those embroidery stitches are a waste of time. My old New Home had cams, 20 of 'em. After the first three weeks all but one ceased to interest me.

Essential feet are a zigzag foot, buttonhole foot, and zipper foot. Any addition tootsies can be bought on t'Internet. Don't be tempte4d by a button foot, the darn buttons work themselves off very quickly, usually at a time that is most inconvenient.

Go to a decent shop rather than buy on line. That way you can ask to try out various models, just don't be bullied into spending more than you need.

That's about all I can think of tonight, if anything else springs to mind I will be back tomorrow, ear permitting!!!