We tried to buy an Electrolux back in the 1990's, as we got tired of disposable vacuum cleaners. It cost hundreds of dollars, as I recall. The problem was, by then the Electrolux was merely an expensive disposable vacuum cleaner. Instead of metal, it was largely made of plastic, and it broke frequently, particularly since our cleaning lady treated it badly. We paid a lot of money for it, at a creepy vacuum cleaner store - that sold and serviced Electrolux vacuums. Within a few years, he was out of business - another casualty of the cheap disposable vacuum cleaner business.
Today, we have shittier appliances that you can't repair (despite my attempts to fix the GE canister vacs) as parts are hard to come by, or are so expensive as to make repair simply an uneconomical proposition. For that reason, it doesn't pay to spend a lot of money on an appliance, if it can't be repaired economically. Why buy a $500 vacuum that you can't get parts for and can't find anyone to repair, when a $100 vacuum works about as well?
And as I noted, today, you can spend an awful lot of money on vacuum cleaners, with decidedly mixed results.
But that being said, this is the modern world and you'd better get used to it, buddy! Sure, your old computer programs worked great in DOS and you actually got shit done. But today, you have to run Windows 10 and rent software in the "cloud" on a machine that is 1,000 times more complicated and takes 10 times longer to do the same damn things. Get with the program - whether you like it or not! Cyclone vacuum cleaners now predominate, so goodbye to the canister vac (whose head would actually reach under your bed all the way to the middle!) and say hello to Mr. Cyclone, who can barely vacuum 6" under the bed. Progress.
Of course, the big thing today is the robotic vacuum. When these first came out, they were sort of a joke - little more than carpet sweepers that ran around in a random pattern, they tended to get stuck if you had throw rugs or worse yet, oriental rugs with fringes. They really didn't work very well, and most people I know who bought them ended up putting them in a closet after playing with them for a few months - and getting out the traditional vacuum and going back to square one.
They have improved since then, getting larger, heavier, and more complicated. Supposedly they have fixed a lot of the problems from the past, but I wonder how they handle fringes on oriental rugs. There are still issues to be resolved, particularly if you have pets. Apparently, if your dog or cat poops on the rug while you are away, the robotic vacuum not only will not clean it up, but smear poop all over your house while you are gone. A vacuum cleaner should clean, not make more dirty, and it should never create a mess that takes hours, if not days, to clean up.
I am not sure what the point of all of this is, other than it seems that sometimes "progress" is less than progress, but merely just change.
UPDATE: A reader recommends Oreck upright commercial vacuums, which are about $135 on Amazon and use bags. They do lay flat to go under furniture and beds. I didn't mention in my posting, the trend of built-in-vacuums which was oh-so-popular in the 1990's, along with Subzero refrigerators. The sort of thing promoted by This Whole House. A vacuum cleaner built into your house - what could go wrong with that? And it certainly wouldn't become obsolete, right?
Another reader recommends the "Henry" canister vac, although I am not sure if it is available in the USA. It does not appear to have a beater bar, although he claims it works well in his cleaning business.