We LOVE our Hoover Windtunnel Plus and it was way, way cheaper than some comparable models. Only had it for a year so I can't speak to its longevity, but it has a washable filter and we don't seem to have hair gunking up its innards like we did with our last vacuum.
It's excellent on both bare floors and carpets, and got high marks from Consumer Reports. Also has a retractable cord and fold-down handle for easy storage, and it's bagless.
Yes, I just checked. It was under $150. The nice thing is the beater brush can be turned off or on, so you can use it on hard floors without worrying about scratching them. And you can see the brush, so you know if it's spinning or not. Since we only have area rugs and the rest is tile/hardwood/vinyl, that was important to us.
It's like this one, but without the animal hair attachment, which would be nice. The suction through the hoses is good too, though they are kind of short and if you really need to use the hose a lot you are better with a canister vac. I have a small Shark rechargeable that I use for areas where one might use the hoses.
Hoover is not known for longevity, but the price was less than half that of many comparable vacs so even if I have to replace it in three years I figure it will still cost me less in the long run.
We have two Corgis and a cat.
I can second the Hoover Windtunnel vote. I got the Windtunnel P.E.T.S. (which is the T series) in July. It's awesome. Until we can afford to drop $500 on a Dyson without thinking hard about it, this is really the next best thing. It doesn't lose suction and was around $100. The hose attachment is great although I miss the little brush/duster attachment from my last vacuum. And if the belt breaks, it's a freaking nightmare to get back on. Other than those 2 minor issues, however, it's a great little vacuum for the price.
We have 3 corgis and 5 cats.
Dyson - 6 years and counting, wait for the $199 deal.
Yes, we love ours, we have the DC 14 without the pet spin brush, any models higher will have the new design. All the new models have the exact same spin brush. The ball models have smaller canisters = frequent emptying.
Before we got the Dyson, we had a Hoover bagless and it died within 1 year, no suction. Our corgis have also killed 3 irobot roomba discovery 400 series vacs. The new 500 series have the new pet fur design, it's a good supplement between regular vacuum. The roomba is still running after 4 years of ownership. I maintain, clean and check my Dyson + Roomba twice a year, other than a new roomba battery, I have not spend any money on the Dyson, not even a filter or belt.
I have tiles in my house and wood in my condo. It seems fine, I don't see any dents or scuff marks, i think it also depends on how old the wax is on the hard wood floor / protective coating on laminate wood...etc.
Hair does not get blow around when I use the dyson, i have a roomba that gets the corners / hard to reach places.