I remember the days of printing paper piecings from the computer, cutting out by hand (ask my kids about the 300 1/2" tall mittens for Christmas cards!), and them piecing together.
Now, boy are there so many choices.
My first cutter was the Original Cricut(Provo Craft), or Baby Bug as its known. Then came the Exression AKA Momma or Big Bug. It was great. And there are so many cartridges to choose from! This is a stand alone machine,no computer needed but with the purchase of the Design Studio software, there is no limit!
Then I saw the Pazzles Inspiration!. WHAT??? It is awesome. Allowing so many options. You can design your own projects. No carts to buy, and is computer based. There are tons of free and for purchase files. They can be found all over the web. However, I suggest Paperthreads as a place to begin.Be sure to check out the store, and register for the forum. Michelle has a great comparison chart for all the different typs of cutting machines. There is The Pazzles, Pazzles Pro, Pazzles Inspiration,KNK,Gazelle, and more. The ladies there are AWESOME! As a matter of fact I am on the Creative Teams for Sam and Hailey Designs and Shelly's Art(paper and digital). Be sure to check out all the great designers at the store. There is also all sorts of scrapping supplies to be had here.
There is also Scrap-Savvy . They have tons of tutorials and lessons to purchase, to get you started on the right foot.There are lots of files to be found here, too. This is where I started, purchasing the lessons, and was soon on my way to cutting heaven!
And check out my message board Friend to Friend for lots of freebie Pazzles files. And also one of my other blogs All Things Paper-y. Look in the top left of the page for the link to my WPC Creations blog, for more free Pazzles files.
To sum up...There are so many different cutters, so many different reasons to choose one or the other. Do your homework, google electronic die cutters, and get cutting!