We're a two-cat family and our old Miele was on its last legs, so after a lot of research we bought this vacuum. It was a pain to put together (really bad directions) but you wouldn't believe the amount of crud it dredged up when we turned it loose on carpet that we had considered fairly clean. And no, it doesn't scratch hardwood floors - all you do is press a button to disable the brush mechanism and off you go (the salesman who told this lie wanted me to buy his $800 Miele). Nor is it particulary noisy (after all, it is a vacuum). And it's easy to empty the cannister, too (say goodby to those expensive, messy bags that the dirt poofs out of when you put them in the trash). Is it possible to be deliriously happy with a vacuum? YES, if it's a Dyson.