The Brother brand is a reasonable machine for a beginner or someone who will not be doing a lot of sewing. They are are not as durable and as sophisticated as higher end machines, so do keep that in mind. You can purchase a nice Brother for about $150 and there are even less expensive models. I would suggest if you are just starting out, purchase a Brother and use it for awhile. If you decide that you are really going to be sewing a lot or want to do more complex sewing, use the Brother and save your money for a higher end machine made by Pfaff, Viking or Bernina. Also, find a local sewing machine store and take a look at their used models. I purchased a two year old Pfaff machine in 1999 and it has performed marvelously, only needing to be repaired once in all that time.
Also, it is nice to have a less expensive machine on hand for taking to sewing classes or in case your main machine needs to tuned up.
I hope this helps!