So, I ask you, what is the difference between this:
The answer that I have come up with is that one is a *POS* and the other is not. The first picture is a model similar to the one that I have - it is less than a year old. At first (literally the first time I used it), it worked but hasn't ever since. There is nothing wrong with it except for that fact that it has zero suction which I figured would be a requirement for a vacuum. It was not cheap either.
The second picture is a model similar to the one my mom has had for over 10 years (minus the sweet red trim)!! AND it still works perfectly. I know this because I had to borrow it and it worked better than mine ever did. Things aren't made like they used to be I guess - maybe I should look for a 1998 Oreck. ;)
HEPA filter, my butt.