What is the best vacuum cleaner you have owned?

Contributor: Aishiteru Aishiteru
I'm looking for a new vacuum cleaner, preferably under $150, to replace one that never worked that great. There's so many to choose from with features that are difficult to compare. I'm trying to find one that will last for years and has great suction. It will be used mostly on carpet.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Contributor: bratcat bratcat
After moving i convinced my mother to buy a dyson for the house. We have several animals, a total of four cats, and at the time of purchase two dogs, so pet hair collects fast in this house. While they are more expensive, they're really worth the buy. We were able to get ours for a fraction of the price at bestbuy, and i believe it may have been preowned/refurbished but it did come with a company and store warrantee. For not being an up right it really collects a lot, and has lasted 4 or 5 years now with no change in power or suction.
Contributor: Hummingbird Hummingbird
The Electrolux cannister style. It was the most powerful one I've owned and because it was a canister on wheels, easy on my back. I had a professional housekeeper for a short time who always brought her own, claiming the cannister style was easier on her back, at the time I had a stand up model. If you have thick carpets, even smaller pile ones the push/pull action of a stand up operated one could be a strain on your spine. The Dyson mentioned by bratcat does intrigue me though, the concept of the large ball for the same push/pull actions sounds much easier on my spine than the standard convention ones.