vacuums: I finally bought one
I few weeks ago I asked for recommendations regarding vacuum cleaners from members of this forum. After reading all the input and agonizing (I do this over almost every purchase of more than a few $), I bought a Shark Navigator with a swivel head. It's not the liftaway one, since I already have a small hand vac for those jobs.
Cons: Won't go under the bed (at least mine) since the body is too wide to fit under); weight at swivel head makes it too difficult for me to maneuver on the stairs, but again, I can use the hand vac.
Pros: Doesn't feel like a cheap piece if plastic; feels quite substantial, actually; was easy to put together; most of all, carpets look and feel almost new and I can't believe all that "stuff" came out of the rugs. Ew. Pleased overall, and thank you all again for your input.