We've been thinking about getting a new vacuum cleaner for a little while, now. Translation: for a few years.
The problem is less with the vacuum iteslf, which still sucks and is quite adequate in the perpetual war against dust bunnies and Leto-fur. The problem is with the attachments. They are quite literally being held together with packaging tape.
So now, you might be thinking, "Well, just get new attachments, then!" The issue, though, is less with finding the attachments, which can be bought during the Saturday markt, than it is with the price of the attachments, which is quite literally more than the vacuum itself is worth. My boyfriend paid all of €40 for the vacuum and everything with it a few years back; I can sort of understand why he'd balk at paying €50 for a bunch of plastic pipes.
The more globally-oriented reader will know that although Europe lags behind the US in terms of what's available, nevertheless things from the US eventually filter across the pond and thus standards of living and what's available in the stores remain more or less constant. You may have to go to seven different stores rather than one Wal-Mart, but if you want it, it can be found.
Which brings us to the Dyson.
Dyson commercials first popped up here the year before last. I'm sure Dyson would have made it here earlier, given the Dutch penchant for cleanliness, but for the fact that developing the canister-type vacuum took a little longer. Uprights, for some reason, are not popular here at all--indeed, they're almost as rare as a dog without fleas. Of course Dyson charges an insane amount of money for their product, even here: €400 for the canister model, but it promises to pick up everything!
My boyfriend and I went into town today to look over what was available. It was interesting: most vacuums could be had for around €150. And then there was the Dyson, which was €400--a little less if the store had a sale. At the heart of the difficult was whether or not it was worth the insane amount of money to buy the damn thing.
We still haven't managed to answer that question yet.