We actually just bought a Dyson DC25 Animal over the weekend. This was after about 6 months of research and secretly wanting the Dyson since I first saw the "ball" commercial. Several stores had the price greatly reduced over Thanksgiving weekend, for $399. I'm not sure if those were Black Friday prices, but it seemed to be a good price. So, we ended up going to our local Lowe's store to get one and it rang up for $279. I'm pretty sure it was an error in their system, but the reciept showed the model that we purchased, so I am not sure what the deal was.
That said, we have been very happy with it so far. We have a mix of carpet and hardwood (mostly carpet) and 2 dogs (and 2 messy boys). The Dyson picked up a TON of dirt and hair. And this was after I had vacuumed the previous day with our old vacuum (a Hoover WindTunnel that we were happy with). Literally, this vacuum pulled up half of a black garbage bag of dirt. It also made the room smell nice (or at least it didn't "smell" like the old vacuum did when we used it).
I used the wand attachment for our stairs. I had read that the wand was difficult to extend and, while the hose was definitely tight, I didn't have a problem on the stairs. I loved that you could just extend the wand from the handle.
I don't have a problem with the cord and the way it wraps up. It's actually almost identical to how the WindTunnel worked. I found the Dyson easy to maneuver and, while it didn't reach under all of the furniture, it was basically the same as the WindTunnel.
In the end, I am glad we made the purchase. Honestly, though, I am not sure that I would have purchased it had it been full price. Some of the less expensive vacuums have very good reviews so I probably would have gone with one of them rather than spend almost $550 on the Dyson.
PS. now my husband wants to buy a Dyson handheld for Christmas. He was sold on it after he saw how much dirt this one picked up.