Okay, this is by no means an official product review, but I am simply in love with my new vacuum. The vacuum we received as a wedding gift 5 years ago had stopped working properly some time ago, and just a couple weeks ago finally died for good, with no explanation or warning. So, I did some research, and made an educated buy...and it has been amazing!!
We got the Shark Navigator Professional--which in the store display looks a little chintzy, or perhaps like it won't hold up well, but after using it I am convinced that such is not the case.
This vacuum is slim and lightweight, but has powerful suction. It has the cool swivel-ball turning action that makes it so easy to maneuver (much like the way more expensive Dysons), and a myriad of extremely useful attachments. One of my favorite features is a very convenient switch for changing between carpet and bare floor (it basically turns on or off the roller), so that it sucks dirt off the bare floor without spitting it out behind the vacuum--genius!
It has a large dirt bucket that is easy to clean (and easy to retrieve lost toys or jewelery from), and--more importantly--airtight, so that it doesn't let any dust or dirt back out into the air.
And...probably my favorite feature of the entire vacuum: You can detach the canister/suction hose for cleaning stairs or hard-to-reach places without having to lug the entire vacuum around!
As far as how it cleans dirt: impressive. Maybe it's just because our last vacuum had stopped working and didn't pick up much of anything...but I'm really impressed with this one.
So, if you need a new vacuum for an affordable price--check out the Shark Navigator Professional (it's the white one)!