I sew clothing and my favorite machine is a Husqvarna. They make great sewing machines. I would find a local sewing store, tell them what specifically you're looking for and ask to try out a few machines. Most shops also offer classes and it's a great way to learn how to properly use your specific sewing machine. Happy sewing!!
My first sewing machine was the Singer Tradition 2277. It's very basic with several fun stitches. I now have a Babylock BLR Ellure Plus sewing machine/embroidery machine. Boy is it a workhorse! I get so many fun projects done on this one combo machine.
I have a Singer Touch & Sew. I think it is perfect for getting back into sewing. I also have the Brother SE Sew & Embroidery machine that I use for special personalized gift items. My all-time favorite is the German-made Pfaff. I really would love to get a Babylock though!
I have the Janome HD1000 in Black. I bought it while studying for my Fashion Design degree and I LOVE IT! I have an industrial Juki, but the Janome is lightweight and easy to use so I use it as a travel machine. Its about $300 but well worth it for the speed and the fact that it has majority metal parts. Been using it for close to 3 years without any major problems.