I don't really have a favourite machine.
The 700 is OK for lace as there is a lace carriage for it. The same lace carriage can be used on other Knitmaster/Studio/Silver Reed machines. I use it with the Silver Reed SK280.
Not all machine knitters move on to electronic machines. If you're happy enough with the manual punchcard machine there's no need to splash out on the electronic one unless you really want to.