Replacing Jenn-Air downdraft range on interior wall
I have a range dilemma. We have an almost twenty year old 30" Jenn-Air downdraft, convection oven in dual fuel. It still works well but is definitely showing its age cosmetically, and since I want to get new soapstone countertops I've decided I should replace the range before getting counters installed. As soon as I started looking for a replacement, I discovered that Jenn-Air is now the only game in town for downdraft. And, if I want the grill feature that we have now (and actually use on a fairly regular basis in the winter months), there is only one Jenn-Air model I can choose.
Actually, I have no complaints about this range, and we haven't had any repairs done at all in all of these years. I've lived with the flaws of this range for this long and am certain in many ways a newer model of theirs would be an improvement. But, I am a bit leery of Jenn-Air after reading all of the bad things about the problems with their circuit board in the more recent models. So, now I am expanding my search for other options. This is where the problem comes in.
My range is on an interior wall, and the downdraft was the venting we were using. If I go with a non-downdraft, we have to hassle going up into the ceiling (at least the joists run in the correct direction) and then make a 90 degree turn to run venting about 8 feet to get to the outside wall. This is not easy and it is not cheap. Or, I could get a new non-downdraft range and just forget the idea of having any venting. Or, I have read something about Dacor possibly having a downdraft that will install behind one of their ranges but don't know if I want a Dacor model range. Does anyone know if this works with ranges other than the Dacor?
I've been reading a lot here and other places and do have a concern and am thinking about eliminating as much computerized circuitry as possible since this seems to be the source of so many problems with ranges. We've looked at the Wolf (nice but don't know if we want to spend the money), the new Viking D3 which would be a possible reliability gamble and the Bertazonni. We also looked at the Kitchen Aid and GE Cafe but pretty much decided if we were going to go with one of those we should just stick with the Jenn-Air because they seemed pretty comparable as far as features and quality, and with those we'd have to hassle the venting which we wouldn't have to do with the Jenn-Air. The salesman also told us he has never had any dissatisfied customers come back with complaints about the Jenn-Air.
Has anyone faced a similar situation and made a decision about this? Or, does anyone have any opinions about what we should do? I guess I should add in here that we live in a fairly upscale neighborhood of 75 to 100 year old houses but are not planning to sell any time soon, so I am not concerned about re-sale or about having a cookie-cutter type remodeled in the 2010s look kitchen. In fact, my kitchen is pretty timeless and with the addition of a new range and countertops will be in definitely updated so it won't look outdated.
I do cook quite a bit and know I am a better cook than many (most) people, but I am not a fanatic or a foodie. And, I know that, for the most part, it is not the stove that makes the difference; it is the cook. I want something that functions well but don't feel I need to buy a name to try to impress others with the biggie brand names.