Before you even get to what type of machine you need, you have to understand that to make a great cup of coffee you need clean fresh water. If you live in a locale which fluoridates and chlorinates the water, you really need to invest in a proper water filtration system, unless you have bottled water service and use that for coffee. You want as many impurities removed from the water as you can before putting it through your machine. This also works to keep the machine clean from mineral buildup.
Another factor is the coffee that you use. You should buy top quality coffee from a reputable coffee supplier. Many people are now going with gourmet coffee from "fair trade" suppliers which is a better deal for the farmers who actually grow the coffee. In the past the large coffee conglomerates would squeeze the coffee farmers to maximize profit. Conscience is entering into the business now, and since modern people are having a resurgence of conscience when dealing with people in poorer and developing nations, as well as trying to rectify past wrongs and salvage 3rd world opinion of modern business and the consuming nations and their people, this is also becoming a selling point for coffee suppliers. If you can advertise that you are "fair trade" then you appeal to this instinct in many modern consumers.
Now that we have that sorted, you should get a machine that meets your needs. First on the list is how many cups do you need to brew at a time. If you are a busy family then a 10 or 12 cup model might be in order. If you are a single person who lives alone then one cup coffee makers might work for you. A working couple may only need a dual coffee maker.
Another factor that you may want to look at is extra functionality. Programmability is when the machine can be set at night and be ready to start brewing when the timer reaches the desired time of day. You get to wake to the smell of coffee which is ready for you. Modern machines also have safety features which let them stay plugged in, unlike some older models.
Some machines come with paper saving plastic filter baskets which do not require you to purchase after market filters which get thrown away. Also, there are accessories such as grinders. A Cuisinart coffee grinder might be just what you need to grind your beans any way you need.
If you are the member of an organization, there are large percolator models that can serve huge amounts of coffee in short order for thirsty crowds. These units are great at fundraisers and they are durable and last a long time. Perhaps a simple French press is all that you need to make individual amounts of coffee. Another type is the small espresso brewer for making strong espresso coffee. Electric cappuccino machines are also available for making the famous latte coffee drink that many of us have after our restaurant feasts.
No matter which way you cut it, there is a coffee machine behind just about any type of coffee that you drink. Instant coffee is thankfully almost a thing of the past, as even the youngest of coffee drinkers have much more discerning tastes that some of the older generation that grew used to that horrid invention called instant coffee. Blech!