I was able to see some that looked good for me and I asked what questions I had - energy efficiency, noise, effectiveness. I wasn't thrilled with the help I got but I saw that one of the stores, Idler's, as a section for dents and closeouts that might be a good thing for me. The sales person there also said that if I buy more than one she'll give me a better deal. The prices there appeared to be lower overall than in the second place, where there were also fewer choices. In the second store I saw a refrigerator that just looked wonderful. I was all but decided on that one. I took what literature they could give me and went home to Consumer Reports. About a month ago I subscribed to CR so I could use it intensely and I've been rather doing that.
The fridge I found to be so wonderful rated rather poorly. The dishwasher that the guy said was really quiet wasn't, not according to CR tests. So I picked some models that should be good for me and saved them to my kaboodle pages.
I was really hoping to find some cool looking appliances like what I'd find in a professional kitchen, almost. But the coolest stoves were wider than I have room for and the single-door fridges have limited options and so on, so I am going for something more middle-of-the-road but good. Good value for the price, much better than the low-level stuff that came with the house.
I learned something, though. Don't rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. The current soaps use enzymes that need to eat the food to work and if there isn't any food they work on the glasses, scratching them. Also, the same guy said use only a tablespoon of dish detergent. I like the sound of that. And he said to use that rinse thing, jetdry. I haven't found a need for that but if I use just a Tbsp of detergent it would be no deal to buy the jet dry. I'll try his recommendations.
I'll probably hit the major box stores now, for comparison. Sears and Best Buy. I have a better idea of what's possible and what will fit in my kitchen. When I'm ready I can just go get what I want and I'll have the costs all worked out so it won't stress me.
This is so different for me. I have traditionally used things until they were worn out or broken, and even then I've agonized. This is a change, going for something I just plain want more. I will say, though, that one of my major motivations is the energy use of these appliances. It really bothers me to be using these dogs.