Before our wedding, family friends went to my mother for gift ideas. Since N had been previously married, he had most of the equipment necessary to run a household. Except for a vacuum cleaner. And so the suggestion was made to let those folks who would like the convenience of gifting cash know we had a goal of buying a vacuum cleaner in mind. We ended up with enough cash to buy a nice economy model of an upright Royal from Stark.
The Stark lasted for about the first 9 years of our married life. I can't remember exactly what caused it's demise, but it may have had something to do with the extra wear and tear we put it through when we bought our house in Roseburg. Our next two vacuums were inexpensive Wal Mart machines, which lasted about as long as you'd expect. Maybe that's why we decided to do a little research before buying the next one. We settled on a Panasonic. It was supposed to be the best deal for our budget. It was a great vacuum and we probably kept it as long or longer than the Stark.
Instead of researching for our replacement, we bought a Shark at Costco--the one they carried in our price range. It, too, did a great job of keeping the carpet clean, but it's plastic parts were prone to breakage. The Shark slowly fell apart over the following 2+ years. Our latest purchase is a Bissell (also from Costco). My second bagless vacuum (I love bagless!). I never liked to waste bags and would wait and wait before changing them. Plus, now that I can empty a container whenever I want, I notice the vacuum cleans more efficiently.
I'm glad other appliances don't need to be replaced as often as a vacuum cleaner, but then again, we do put them through a lot in the time we own them.