Hi Barbara! I've been purchasing and using digital cutters since 2007 and I am proficient in a number of different software programs. I purchased the Cameo last fall and I am TOTALLY in love with it! Since I already owned the CraftRobo (which is the same thing as a Silhouette) I knew I would love it's cutting capabilities. I mainly design cards and I love intricate designs and my Cameo (as well as my Robo) does a marvelous job on them. I purchased the Designer Edition of the Silhouette Studio software and in all honestly, I've been going to that software first for my designing, as I've come to REALLY like it....and it is MAC compatible!!!
Just this past week I cut some thin chipboard with mine (to make a picture frame) and it cuts poster board wonderfully, as well as grunge paper (NOT grunge board). If you will go check out my blog, you will see some of what I've been doing and starting at this point
you will see the test cuts I was doing right after I purchased my Cameo last Fall.
I hope this helps you and if I can be any further assistance, just let me know!