Open burner in black--BS, Viking or AR Performer
I think I have finally narrowed my choices for a 30" down to three makers and models of open burner ranges. I don't want stainless, so that eliminates some brands. While I still may change my mind and go with some other color, I am thinking black might be the right choice to go with my 20s-30s vintage look that has white appliances (all on other walls than where the range will be).
My best buy is a Viking VGIC with open burners because they are having a promotion where I can get this range in SS, white or black for $3,300. A different color is an additional $600. This has 4 15K burners and good simmer on all burners. I've read about the quality and service problems Viking has had in the past but am willing to give them a try because dealers all tell me that things are improved AND they offer a three year warrantly.
Next in price is the American Range Performer at $3650 in a color (including black). It has two 22K burners, one 18K and one 12K. It is my understanding that it also has a good simmer.
Or, I can get a Bluestar in a color for $4,400. It has 2 22K burners, 1 15K burner and a simmer burner.
I really don't know if I need the BTU power offered by either the BS or the AR. But, maybe I would like it. Never having had the extra oomph perhaps I don't know what I am missing. BOTOH, I've also read here that 15K really is sufficient for most people unless they truly are into lots of heavy duty wok cooking.
The ability to simmer is important to me, and the Viking has good simmer capabilities on all 4 burners. As I understand it, there really is only 1 simmer option on the BS. And, I am a bit confused about the Performer but think it has good simmer on all burners.
I don't know whether it is better to have all burners the same shape and size so I can use any of them or if it is better to have have the variety so I need to decide which to use.
Clean up of the rangetop is also a concern of mine, and while all of these completely disassemble, they all have different surfaces with the Performer being stainless steel, the Viking black porcelain, and the BS primarily cast iron.
I live in a place where there are great weather extremes from very cold (where I'd like the extra warmth a stove puts out) to very hot (where I do not want to add any more residual hear to the kitchen than necessary). So, I also want to know if one of these will heat up the kitchen more than others because of a poorly sealed and insulated oven or burner grates that take a really long time to cool down so they will be emanating heat.
Complaints or concerns I have read about: The Viking--quality and customer service. Bluestar--hot door, fire ball broiler lighting, and some customer service. American Range--not a lot of info out there.
So, I've got a price range of around $1,000. I am not buying solely based on price but obviously would prefer to spend less if I would be just as happy with the product.