After a lot of deliberation, I decided to get one of the new(ish) Cricut Explore electronic cutting machines. Well, it arrived today, even before I was out of bed!
Here it is:
The best thing about the machine (that I have found so far anyway) is the print then cut feature on the machine. It is so easy to import an image (I used png files as they have a transparent background), print it to the colour printer then cut it out. The calibration was so much simpler than the Black Cat Cougar and the cut images were the best I have ever done (even with the BC!).
I used clip art images from the Garden Gals#1 set from The Printable Craft Shop to try out the print then cut function.
When you print the images, they come out with a thick black line around the image.
When the Cricut cuts the images, it cuts around the thin black line just on the edge of the image. It even cut out the little bits like the spaces between the legs. The cut quality was terrific - no tears or jagged edges.
Very pleased with my purchase!