After vacuuming my house for two years and never really liking the vacuum I embarked on a quest to find the "perfect" replacement. This was spurred on by cleaning my old vacuum and noticing that it still wasn't picking up obvious dirt on the carpets (thread for example) and attending a mom blogger panel ... yes one mentioned vacuums. Knowing that I wasn't going to be purchasing a Dyson (I'm not a millionaire), I asked the mom blogger what type of vacuum she used regularly and asked a friend that owns a house cleaning business what he recommended. Both said the Eureka AirSpeed. I did some online research and found that Walmart had the basic model for $99, Lowes had the medium version for $119 and Target had the "high end" model for $129. Needless to say, I went for the high end version.
I vacuumed for the first time with the new vacuum today and it was amazing. The Eureka AirSpeed picked up enough dirt and dust to fill up the container, even finding a few "pine needles" from my Christmas Tree that has been down for 7 months ... verifying my suspicions that the old vacuum wasn't doing its job.
A big thanks to Ray from Delight Cleaning and to Christine from FromDatesToDiapers.com for their help and recommendations.