If you can spend around $400-$500 look at the BossKut Gazelle. It cuts 12x12, Jpegs, SVG, you can Print & Cut. Cut different varieties of materials such as acetate to foam. She's made all out of metal, has nice little side drawers so you can store extra blades, housings, etc... Gazelle has great Customer Service. They have been so good to me with my goofy questions.
Another one to look at would be the Pazzles. The designers of Cricut also did this one. She's a good little machine comparable to the Gazelle. The Gazelle has more pounds of pressure for different materials.
I was a Wishblade owner and I really liked it but the software just threw me a learning curve. The software that comes with the Pazzles and Gazelle is Funtime and it's a lot easier to use and more powerful. You do have to convert your SVG's to the WPC format but it's not any different than converting to SCAL that the Cricut uses.
If you can only spend $300 or under then the Silhouette is a good little machine. Actually the Silhouette, WB and CR are the same machines. Made by the same company. The Silhouette does have the extra function of accepting SD cards. These machines can only cut light materials at 8 1/2 x 11. For example Bazzill will need to do a multi cut. If that does not bother you then you can find an affordable machine on Ebay.
I do own two Cricut's. I love my machines very much. I also own SCAL but for designing I tend to use my Gazelle more. She's my only dedicated cutter set up at my desk.
Here is Paperthreads site: www.paperthreads.com
. They have comparison charts, forums and anything you need to know about the confusing die cut market.