Remember those old fashioned fax machines with shiny papers that came off of a roll? Those fax machines became obsolete when I was still a kid and now fax machines pretty much come in a scanner/printer/copier/fax machine.
Because emailing is so prevalent nowadays, faxing has pretty much become obsolete.
We bought a Brother scanner/printer/copier 3 years ago when we first bought our computer. We've been very happy with our machine... but it has no fax machine.
Most places today will happily accept emails in lieu of fax machines, however some places are still in the last century when it comes to technology... so want only faxes and no emails.
If someone owns a scanner and printer, there is no need to own a fax machine. There is no reason either to pay the small amount it costs to send a fax.
Websites like http://www.freefax.com/, or http://www.faxzero.com/ allow you to send a fax for free. If the document that needs to be faxed is already on the computer, you just upload it, plug in the numbers and send. If its not on the computer already, you scan it, upload it, plug in the numbers and send.
Receiving a fax is easy as well. I'm not a member of freefax.com but it claims that you can receive faxes through them as well and i believe them. However, that is not how I chose to receive faxes.
If you have windows XP, you'll have a program on your computer called "Fax console".
In the accessories menu, you click on communications, then on fax console.
You plug in your phone to your computer through the phone jack meant for internet, and with the fax console open, you have them send you the fax. You'll hear the fax ringing and click accept on the fax console.
Once you receive the document you'll be able to print it, upload it, or do whatever you want with it.
No need for a fax machine in today's day and age. A fax machine is a waste of money, a waste of space, and on the way to becoming obsolete.
If you have one, consider selling it second hand to make some extra cash, because owning one is truly pointless.