Here's another home related product review. Before I jump into it, however, let me tell you a story.
Several years ago, my mom wanted to get a new vacuum cleaner. Her current one had served her well for a number of years, but was nearing the end of its life. My dad, sister, and I decided to get her a Dyson Animal for Christmas (we got her one of the older models; the one linked to is a newer one). It was quite expensive (~$400 if I remember correctly), but we wanted to splurge and get my mom something nice, so we did. On Christmas eve, my mom vacuumed the living room with her old vacuum, and everyone went to bed. The next morning, we got up and opened our presents. After all of our packages were opened, my mom wanted to try out the new vacuum, and did so on the freshly vacuumed floor from the previous night. To our surprise, one pass of the Dyson over the carpet actually made it look cleaner. She continued to vacuum the whole room, and in the end, the canister was completely full of cat hair, dust, and dirt! Needless to say, we were sold on the Dyson line of vacuums.
The Dyson line has improved since those early days, and the new Dyson DC25 uses a ball to handle steering. After reading a bunch of reviews for it and its smaller brother (the DC24), I decided to go with the DC25. Every review I read was highly positive, so I broke down and bought one.
Just after I moved in, I had the carpets professionally dry-cleaned (the former owners had several pets). The guy did a great job, and the carpet looked much better once he was done. Remembering my mother's experience with the Animal, however, I decided to give the carpets another cleaning with the DC25. I ended up emptying the canister twice! I was shocked at how much pet hair and dirt the professional cleaning left behind. Not only did my carpets look better at the house, the whole house smelled better! The ball really is amazing to use (a flick of the wrist is all that's needed to steer the vacuum), and it's much lighter than my mom's older Animal. Setup was very easy: a total of 4 clicks was all that was needed to get things going. And cleanup is a cinch; one button allows you to disconnect the canister from the vacuum, while another allows you to dump the contents into the trash, all with one hand!
This vacuum has a few drawbacks, however. First of all, it's very expensive, much more so than its competition. I personally think the cost is worth it, considering how well my experience with this line has been in the past. But it may be a little off-putting for most people. Second, the documentation that comes with the vacuum is sorely lacking. I was really disappointed with the poor quality, and was hoping for something a little more substantial. Next, the packaging ends up being a mountain of cardboard. It's all recyclable, of course, but the amount of cardboard that came in the box was pretty crazy. Finally, the cord feels a little shorter than the one on my mom's Animal. This isn't a big problem, but a few extra feet would have been appreciated.
All in all, I'm quite happy with my purchase. I was pleasantly surprised at how much dirt and debris the vacuum picked up, and I'm glad I gave my house another once-over with it. If you're willing to pay the high price, you won't be disappointed with the Dyson DC25. It gets a solid A+ from me.