Some months back, our iron of several years started misbehaving, dripping water on the garment being ironed seemingly at random. It was a basic iron we had bought at Costco for $30, and I think we'd had it six or seven years, so I figured we'd gotten our money's worth out of it.
I started thinking about what to replace it with, and I went to Amazon to read some reviews. After maybe half an hour I was dizzy, and felt like my brain was trying to stab itself. There were just far too many products, and every single one of them had at least one person who'd had a miserable experience with it and needed to vent about it. (This probably isn't news to those of you who shop online with any frequency, but people are much more likely to post negative reviews than positive ones.)
I decided the path of least resistance was to do what we'd done before; we went to Costco and I got the less expensive of the two irons they were carrying. It was a different $30 iron than the one we'd bought before, but it was the same brand, so I figured it would be all right. But a couple of months after we got it, I noticed that it wasn't generating steam properly. It was getting plenty hot enough but not making any steam, even on the highest steam setting. As a result, ironing a shirt was taking three times longer than usual.
I realized that we could still return the iron, thanks to Costco's generous return policy; for most items they sell other than electronics, there's no time limit on returns, as long as you have the receipt and don't abuse the privilege. That still left the question of what to get in its place. A Bed Bath & Beyond sale catalog arrived in the mail that same day, and inside was a basic iron, a different brand and $40 instead of $30. Conveniently there's a BB&B in the same shopping center as the Costco, so off we went. Costco even gave me the refund in cash, even though I'd made the purchase with my debit card.
I know there are people who swear by their $100 "professional" irons, and I did consider that option, but for the amount and type of ironing we do I believe a "regular" iron is sufficient. Some of the pro models are still made in Germany, however, instead of China, which is something I know some people like to be aware of (I'm one of them). If this new iron does turn out to be deficient in some way, I will most likely give in and get a pro model, but I'm hoping it won't come to that.