I am completely intimidated by that machine. I feel stupid asking, but is it a sewing machine? Or does it do other stuff, like embroidery, too?
That there is a serger, which if you keep up with sewing you will eventually want one too. It finishes edges. It's also the machine to have if you are sewing knits.If you look at pretty much any factory made seam (assuming you have not switched to couture since we were last in the same city) you will see it has been serged. It's what makes the loopy back-and-forth-wrap-around finished edge.Aside from threading, they are a very, very awesome thing.
I remember when I was doing ballet in college I asked my grandma to make chiffon ballet skirts for me because they are pretty simple and were rather expensive. Really it is just a nicely cut piece of chiffon or some other similarly diaphanous material and a very long grosgrain ribbon. I investigated and she made me one, but her lack of serger made it rather difficult to finish the edges as nicely as the Danskin ones. It always frayed a bit on the edges. I wore it though (and still have it in my ballet togs). Perhaps I will add a level one ballet class to my courses next semester after I see what my work load will really look like. I would guess threading is a beast. But, like you say, what that beast gives you. Worth it!