Singer used to be made in the USA, but is now made in Asia, in the same factories as many of the other machines. Janome has been rated #1 of the affordable machines that are available to home sewers frequently, & Bernina and Husqvarna Viking are generally at the top if you're buying a high end machine. Juki is an industrial machine, but can be purchased by pretty much anyone.
Not all machines will sew on denim & faux fur. I'd go to a dealership where you can test machines, & take scraps of the fabrics that you want to sew to test the machines. Dealerships have display models that you can actually test. They are generally higher priced than department stores, but usually you can bargain on the prices at a dealership. They also will almost always train you on the machine you purchase, & are more likely to do repairs on site, although you need to check with the dealership. I can send you the tip sheet I give to my sewing student
at 12:03 AM on Oct. 7, 2009