This may be a little late but better late than ...
We purchased a Hitachi machine a few weeks ago and are very
pleased with the choice. Although it was one of the more expensive
machines ($199 at Lurias) I liked the fact that it had a square
loaf pan and makes a 1 lb. 3 oz. loaf which is close in size to
store bought. It has settings for regular bread, rapid bread,
mix bread (for adding ingredients) and dough. It also has a setting
for light, medium and dark crust. It has a timer which allows you
to put ingredients in at night for A.M. bread wake-up call (Wonderful!).
I've been able to adapt different bread recipes for this machine
easily by keeping the ratio of dry to wet ingredients the same.
All in all, after months of deliberating over which machine to buy
I'm 99.9% pleased.
The 0.1% displeasure is due to the fact that the machine has what
my husband calls a "polite" beep and I would prefer one just a little
bit louder - but this is something I can live with.
Hope this helps,