My friend has one and it works really good. I just wish it didn't cost so much.
I have had many vacuums over the past 30 years. This vacuum is by far my favorite. It picks up great. We have 3 dogs, 3 large parrots & 2 grandchildren. I use the vacuum daily and have had it approximately 2 yrs. The only problem I ever have with it is sometimes the hose gets stuck when you are trying to disconnect it from the body to extend it for using it in crevices etc. I found that this means that when you take it off & use it you are twisting it and it doesn't disconnect easily. So it is a user problem not a design problem. Once I became aware of this I just was more diligent about putting it back correctly. Even my oreck wasn't as good as this vacuum. I highly recommend it.
I love love love this vacuum. My parent have one and I borrowed it to clean my college apartments and still use it on my current apartment. I never realized how much dirt and cat hair there was until I swept with this vacuum and saw that it really sucks up everything. I also love that this vacuum never clogs, no matter how dirty the carpets are. I think its pretty cool that it all comes apart and then back together so easily and has little hidden cleaning tools in it for the small parts.
I have two dogs who shed moderately & with navy blue carpet in our living room, I don't know what I would do without our Dyson vac some days! It cleans better than any vac I've ever used. I've never really felt it was heavy to carry up/down stairs, but then the older vacs that I have used in the past were super heavy too so maybe I just don't notice that!
I LOVE my Dyson Animal. I got tired of buying a new vacuum every year because with two dogs and a kid, they would just die. I have had my Dyson for five years now, and it still works as good as the day I brought it home. No repairs, no breakage, nothing. We also use it to vacuum our matresses every month. If you have never done this, give it a try. You will be shocked at what comes out of your mattress!! The price is really not that bad when you consider just how well this machine works, how often you have to replace your other vacuums, time and energy spent replacing bags, belts, etc, and how difficult it can be to use older machines.