We bought our Dyson a 1 1/2 years ago. We have three dogs, two are big with heavy coats, and they are in and out of the house. We also have a lot of mud, dirt, hay, and dust because we live in the country. The Dyson vacuums it all up. The suction is so powerful that it gets find sand as well as the larger parts. I have allergies, and the exhaust is not blown in my face. The is the first vacuum cleaner that has not seriously bothered me and which works. I have owned almost every brand of vacuum cleaner available -- both upright and canister -- and this is the best.
There are some parts that I wish they would change, such as the latch for the canister, which is hard to operate and which i always worry about breaking. That is the biggest drawback. The metal section of the wand is too long for easy use on sofa cushions and drapes, but again that is a small annoyance compared to the fact that it gets the dirt, dust, and dog hair.
This is a lot of money to spend on a vacuum cleaner, but it works very well.