The Brother 1034D was my first serger, and for anyone who's never tried it before, it's a good machine to learn on. Mine lasted a good four years before I had to replace it, and that was only because the timing was thrown off so badly that the lower looper wouldn't clear the upper looper anymore. I wound up investing in a more durable serger (an Elna, though I forget the specific model), but for the price, the Brother machine should serve well anyone just starting out.
Serging is a handy, handy thing, too. For finishing seams or even complicated things like stretchy finished edges or use with ruffles. If you plan on getting serious with cosplay and sewing in general, it's a great investment -- the initial frustration in learning to thread the damn thing is worth it, I swear.
(Protip: If you're changing thread color on a serger, don't take the old thread out and rethread it, just tie the end of the old thread to the new one and let the machine run until all threads have come through. If you do it right, it makes life a lot easier.)