Gosh, I'm so sorry to read about people who either had problems with their Grand Calibur or people who aren't buying it because a few people had problems. I just wanted to say again, that I've had my GC for over a year now, and have used it almost every day since I got it. The only thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't quite fit 8 1/5 x 11 paper. I love everything else about it, and I use the GC for almost every single card I make.
I have had my Sizzix Big Kick for over two years. Even before I bought my GC I didn't use the BK all that much. I really didn't like many of their dies. I started using it more when the Spellbinders dies came out, but not on a daily basis. It was a pain to have to cut each die separately because the platform was so small. Even though I had the longer plates, they only worked with the fat dies because the multi purpose platform was smaller. Probably you could order a larger one, I don't know, but I never saw any in the stores.
I still use the Big Kick for embossing folders and Sizzix and cuttlebug dies, but never for Cheery Lynn, Marianne, Spellbinders or any of those thin dies. I love being able to cut the Grand dies for shaped cards, or a lot of smaller dies at one time. My cuts always come out even, and it's easy to cut stamped things in exactly the right places just by using a tiny bit of tape.
I feel like I had to add my two cents because so many people seem to not want the GC because a few people had problems with it. I also understand that there now is a raspberry plate that will enable you to use embossing folders and things like Cuttlebug and the thin Sizzix dies. I can certainly understand why we can't use the really fat dies, and that isn't an issue for me.
I really like the fact that other than the fat Sizzix dies, all companies seem to be making most of their machines, embossing folders and dies compatible with each other. It gives us so many choices.