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And with 3 dogs and 2 cats we have a definite need of a new vacuum cleaner ASAP!  What brand do you have and what do you like/dislike about it?  

Update: Thanks everyone for their recommendations/comments on vacuum cleaners.  We decided to go with the Dyson.  Ordered it through QVC.com (they had it on sale, free S&H and 6 easy payments made too good to pass).  It arrived today (2 days sooner than promised).  OMD does it pick up dust, dirt, dog and cat hair!  The carpet looks a shade lighter where I took it on a test drive.  And it is so quiet to boot.

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I have a Sears vacuum. After the head was killed by a cleaning lady I went to Consumer Reports, my bible. Ther was something I didn't like about all the vans reviewed. So I bit the bullet and ordered a new power head for my old vac.

Me too F.  My cleaning lady killed the head on mine also.  I think it was a son who kept sweeping up guitar strings that did it in.  I looked forever to replace the vac but could not find any that were rated high on hardwood floors or had 12AMP.  So, I bought another one. 

Get this. Roger hates sweepers. For some reason ours bothers his ears. So, he uses a Shop Vac when he vacuums.  It works great.  So, I bought a carpet attachment for the Shop Vac!   I can't believe how well it works.  It does not fluff the carpet though, but it cleans really well

We are on our second Electrolux, but it is held together at this point by duct tape.  We had it refurbished a few years back.  I may get a Miele based on what I have read here as we now have all wood floors downstairs.  

I tell you this as the wife of a man who's part time entrepreneurial job, is fixing vacuum cleaners.
I think Kirby's are great, but heavy as all get out, and the Dyson brand gets fixed a lot... at least the ones in my area that get filled with pet hair do !! Electrolux is also good. I don't think my DH has ever had a Shark brand.
 I just have a plain old Hoover. It gets the job done.
So that is my two cents worth !
Sheila,
You are so right about Kirby being heavy! The saving grace is the automatic drive so you don't have to push it. But carry it upstairs? Not if I can help it! I have an upstairs vacuum and a downstairs one. Besides being heavy it has to be one of the most expensive on the market. Anything for my kid's commission. Hahaha

Eureka upright and Kenmore Little Blue Cannister!!  I am a vacuum finatic too.  Every day!!!

I have the animal Dyson and love it. Have had it 5 years.

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