I'll put my 2c in. If you are a person on the fence about getting a die cutting machine and want to know which one to buy, I cannot recommend Silhouette enough. OK, I have multiple Cricut machines (Imagine, Cake, Expression..) and tons of cartridges and a gypsy. I love my Cricut. But when my husband convinced me to buy an original Silhouette machine at a crafters garage sale, I was BLOWN AWAY by it.
Even the original machine has the ability to use the print and cut feature (which is printing something on your printer and then putting it into the machine to cut out). I did this with digi stamps that I got from some of my favorite stamp companies. It was so awesome! I do believe that if Silhouette had better software when it was first released that it would probably be more popular than the Cricut.
I love the Silhouette online store where you can get so many different cut files and you only buy the ones you like. I'm currently on a monthly plan where I pay $15 a month and get $150 in content. That goes a long way when they do weekly clearances, sales, and have free shapes every week. And rest assured that the software now is really easy to use. In my opinion, it is actually my favorite way to just print out digi stamps. It makes it super duper easy to get them the right size. I have SCAL too but I rarely need to use it as I have the "pay" version of the Silhouette software. You can find it for a deal and I think it is worth the $ over the free version.
The machine also just simply cuts better than the Cricut does. It does do more intricate cuts and shapes are more accurate. There are examples out there on the internet where people cut out the same shapes with both machines and show you that Cricut especially does some wonky stuff with circles and other curves. My favorite examples feature images from Nancy Kubo who did Create A Critter cartridge for Cricut and also has cut files on Lettering Delights. The Cricut cuts have these funny little cute smiles and I thought that is the way she designed them. Actually it isn't that way in reality, it is just the way the Cricut cuts them.
Will I still use my Cricut? Yes, I have invested far too much money in it to stop using it now. And I still love it too. Will I always have a Cricut? Probably. But I definitely think the Silhouette overall is a better machine.
So if you think you want 12x12 capability, get the Cameo. Otherwise you could just be like me and use the original. Or else get the SD to be able to go portable with it without your computer.
Julia Gluten free on 9/15/2008. I am a Celiac. 1 in 133 Americans is a Celiac and 97% of those who have Celiac Disease are still undiagnosed. Are you one?