I always thought the beauty of Pilates was that it involved nothing more than a mat, kind of like yoga. It was more about core strength and body awareness that machines. There is a pilates studio near my work that has no equipment I can see through the windows and the gym I go to does it with mats only as well. Maybe pilates is like yoga and there are various forms ?
Have you looked into Winsor Pilates tapes or something along those lines that maybe you could do at home without the machine to make sure you will enjoy doing it at home as much as you enjoy the classes. I loved my yoga and pilates classes and found that when I moved and started doing them all alone at home I didn’t like it nearly as much.
That aside, I tend to say save the money and get what you want right off the bat rather than buying the cheaper model only to decide you need/want the more expensive model in a few months. I just lectured my husband about this while he was looking at Craftsman Toolboxes