Re: I'm new here!
Welcome! You will love this group! I've only been machine embroidering since October 2014 when I bought the 15000 - my first embroidery machine (though have lots of other machines and have been sewing since I was 8). I'm in UK and bought it direct from Janome in Stockport via a show offer.
The machine is a V2 of the 15000 and I don't have any issues with the threader, but it does have to be set right in order to hit the right place to thread the needle eye - especially as it's fully automatic. Other people have had issues, (I think particularly V1 machines) but I understand there is a replacement part for the threader to hold the thread more taut when threading if you need it. I believe though you may find that any machine with a fully automatic needle threader may work for some and not for others. It is just a consquence of the very tight tolerances in order to get the really tiny hook in the right place.
There is a range of thread sizes and needle sizes it will work over - all given in the manual which is very comprehensive - I suggest you download and take a look. - http://janome.com/en/support/manuals/ - then you'll be ready to start using your machine straight away when you get it! :0)
The machine embroidery foot is a screw on metal foot - I don't know for sure but I would imagine all machine embroidery feet would need to be screw on to make them totally secure during the fast speed possible of sewing machine embroidery. The free motion feet, at least for not too bulky work, are snap on and do not hop which I love, and the height of the foot is adjustable.
If you decide to go for Digitizer V5 software I understand it is now very similar to Bernina software, but I've never used Bernina software and yet to upgrade to Digitizer V5 - that's on the cards next month.
The machine takes class A bobbins - slightly taller that the L ones I think Brother machines use. Pre-wound class A bobbins are difficult to find now in the UK, but I was able to find some plastic sided ones on Ebay. I wasn't sure I would use them but just wanted to see what happened - anyway they work fine with the yellow dot bobbin case (which comes with the machine) which has a tighter tension. The pre-wound thread is thinner than the Janome supplied bobbin thread. For the Janome bobbin thread, and also the Brother #90 thread (which is the same thickness) you should use the standard red dot case which has a 'normal' tension, mid way between the yellow dot and the blue dot cases.
When you go for your demo, make sure they show you the free motion feet (QO and QC I think they are and used with FMQ straight stitch 2) and any other ones you'd like to see - and even take the type of thread and fabric you use the most to have a test sew. One thing I love when normal sewing is just one tap on the pedal and you get just one stitch.
I'm still learning things about the machine and experimenting - there is so much to do. I've recently tried the hand-look stitches and I love them - especially when you use a different colour top and bottom. It looks like you've hand stitched with alternating thread!
The only bad things I've found are the knee lever is too far away for me to use comfortably - but I am petite (4ft 11ins) so my legs are rather short! :0) And I find the cutter under the bobbin winder fiddly and don't use it preferring to start the thread off the old way by threading through the bobbin hole and holding for several turns then cutting the end of close to the bobbin.
There is also the sheer size of the machine to think of. For me it is definitely not a portable. I actually don't find the weight too bad - but I am used to lifting cast iron vintage Singers!
"Live like someone left the gate open". Kimberly Burnham