beginning serger: brother vs. singer vs. white

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Hello everyone...
I'm going to buy my first serger and have a pretty tight budget so I
narrowed my choices down to a factory-refurbished Brother 1034D and
Singer 14SH654. I've found both for about $200 including shipping. A
lot of online reviews & consumer reports seem to say that specific
Brother model is reliable and easy to use, while a lot of message
boards seem to think that brother sergers in general are crap despite
their high-quality sewing machines.

I can't seem to find too many opinions on the specific Singer model I'm
interested in anywhere, although a friend says Singer in general is
pretty reliable and many accessories are interchangeable among
different the singer machines. Also, the Singer I've found offers a 25
year mechanical and 2 year electrical warranty.

But in the course of all this research, I've seen a lot of rave reviews
for the White 2000. The cheapest one I've found is $300 - is it worth
the extra cash? Also, the White 2000 lacks a free-arm unlike the Singer
and Brother. Does anyone find that the free-arm makes sewing sleeves
and other tubes that much easier or can I manage without?

If anyone has advice about these three machines I'd love to hear it...

Thanks!
APM


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