Rather than a harangue, let me just post some numbers, from the Dec.
Consumer Reports on Ranges I just got.
The first number is the price, the second number is CR's score
For 30" dual fuel (elec/gas),
Bosch 2,000 - 72
GE 1850 - 70
GE 1500 - 69
So far, so good, right? Heh....
Kenmore 3200 - 68
Wolf 5200 - 67
GE 2800 - 65
Viking 5500 - 63
Jenn-Air 2400 - 62
Dacor 6000 - 59
KithenAid 3700 - 50
If you were to graph this and do a linear regression for a correlation
coefficient, you'd wind up with a blob for a graph, which means a
correlation between price and quality of ZERO -- no relationship whatsoever.
If you didn't have objective scoring, and were going by price/brand alone,
you might as well randomly paste the product sheets on the side of a barn,
and shoot arrows at them blindfolded, and buy whatever your arrow hit.
Wow.... And this zero correlation occurs in their longer review of electric
smoothtops and gas ranges, of over 30 products each -- many of them GE,
rated best buys, while $5,000 thermador is near the middle, and $4600 DCS is
4th from the bottom.
How can this be?
Well, some would argue that CR doesn't really know how to test stuff, or
tests it peculiarly, and I would not totally disagree with that. While Wolf
and Viking may have not have scored well in CR's scoring system, mebbe they
are built like tanks, never break, last forever, etc. I'll take
reliability/longevity over slightly less performance any day of the week.
But then, mebbe not! How do you know???
Apropos of Fox5's li'l bullshit expose on bogus on-line reviews (the creamed
Lifestyle Lifts, the retail plastic surgery outfit, creamed them, yesterday,
with a continuation of the general topic today), the problem of Truth in
general is a very real one: HTF can you ever tell what is what, who is
tellling the truth?
This zero-correlation between price and score is almost the RULE in CR's
tests, from vacuums to cars. A $100 Hoover vastly outperforms $500 Dysons.
It's just amazing.
But, I shouldn't really be too frazzled or confounded. After all, we do
live in a BizarroLand country where Big Tobaccer is telling us not to smoke,
and where a fat abless Tony Little sold millions Ab Isolators and Gazelles
for about 1/4 of a century..