If you own (or rent) a home, someone is vacuuming. I finally got rid of our Emer "Milano", a pretty decent, bare bones canister vacuum, though a nightmare to find bags! I bit the bullet and headed to Costco where I picked up a new Shark Rotator Pro Lift Away vacuum cleaner.
The Amazon community of reviewers was right on the money, this thing is awesome! Quiet, super powerful and based on an in store comparison I think much better built than a Dyson. We have two cats and the hair they leave on our beautiful, comfortable Restoration Hardware couch makes me not want to sit on it. With the Emer it took 20 minutes to clean in-between house cleaner visits. The Shark Pro comes with a small attachment (5 total) that has a rotating brush installed in it, a few passes and the cat hair is gone!
Without sounding like a crazy person waxing poetic on the virtues of a vacuum, I'll just say if you're looking definitely short list this.