Has anyone tried the "Sure cuts alot" from mycricutbuddy.com? I downloaded a free trial version from http://www.craftedge.com/download/download.html. You can basically make any artwork and cut it with your cricut. I bought the cricut personal at Joann's about 2 weeks ago and I just opened it today. I think I am already hooked. The cartridges are so expensive, but with the Sure cuts alot software you don't have to buy them. I unplugged my printer and plugged in my cricut (it used the same usb cable) and it worked! The only downside to the trial version is that it cuts a watermark through each shape so you can't really use them but the actual program itself worked perfectly. It also comes with I don't know how many different fronts and shapes and you can make your own designs and save them.
Now all I need to do is convince the hubby to get it for me as this is just a hobby for me. I think for $69.95, you can't go wrong.
I recently purchased the SureCutsAlot software, although I purchased it from ScrappingTable dot com. It was, I believe, $64.99 on special right now. But she also includes a free subscription to her 2010 Creativity subscription. The subscription is where is puts together different images for different occasions and emails them out or you can log in with a password and download what you want. She also had a ton of free fonts, dingbats, shapes, and theme sets on her website. What I personally like best about the program is that you can use clip-art from different programs (open in the program and save out as .jpg or .svg files). THAT in itself opens up so many more possibilities than purchasing cartridges. As much as I have used it so far, I really like it. It gives a ton of flexibility with your designs.
Make The Cut is another software that works with cricut and you don't have to convert to SVG files. IMO it's easier to use.