Before, I would always use my mother-in-law's. After moving 350 miles away, I no longer had a sewing machine at my disposal. So I scouted Craigslist (amazing what you find on there) and found one that was being sold for a reasonable price.
I have to say I could not have asked for a better story to be attached to the purchase of my second-hand sewing machine.
I bought it from a gay guy that was selling it because he was going to buy a newer one for fashion school. Love it. It was awesome. He had a salmon colored polo with the requisite popped collar and skin tight jeans that made me jealous. I got it for a steal and it seems like a good one. At least the reviews were pretty good.
The model I got is the Singer Confidence 7463. He sold it to me for a grand total of $30.00 and it looks like he may have used it once, maybe twice. He mentioned that he hadn't done a lot of sewing, mostly crocheting. O.o I have to say I am rather pleased.