Got my first one for Christmas, it's a Necchi 276. It's a good brand, even if in the last years the quality has dropped for fancier machines the basic line is still pretty good and, most importantly, sturdy.
I've done a few tests and even if the foot doesn't lift very much, if I can manage to put them under it it can sew 3 layers of heavy jeans with no problem! It has elastic stitches (straight, zigzag), can do buttonholes, invisible hems and a overlock stitch.
Simple, functional and sturdy, also since it's one of the staple brands here in Italy it'll be quite easy to find technical assistance if needed.