Many thanks for the lively debate. Preparing to reconfigure my vintage kitchen and stumbled upon the Blue Star cook tops along with this site. Wife number 1st was a chef, I used to own a restaurant and my last wife and I love to cook, so we've been looking at a lot of stuff. I'm near Baltimore and we have a place on the Delaware shore (no taxes) so I was thinking of buying there and bringing it home. There was one authorized dealer in Maryland and only a distributor in Delaware. They would sell to me but preferred that I go through their dealer. Fair enough. They have begun to offer something that they call "White Glove" service where they have a factory representative come out and inspect each install to make certain that everything is in proper working order. I would presume that this approach predates DuckFat's experiences, but certainly doesn't negate them.
The gear is made in Pennsylvania, so I figured that if I bought one and it turned out to be crap, or that a salesman had lied to me, I wouldn't have to drive too far to stomp the putz that was responsible (you really need to be decisive with these characters or they just keep doing the same thing to other people...kinda like politicians). We have Wolf and Dacor dealers nearby and I know folks that work there who warned me away from what they now offer. A friend's dad was a Vulcan tech for years and serviced just about everything under the sun, including Vikings and he pretty much scared me away from most everything else. Aside from that, any company that has decided to get in bed with Home Depot or Lowes has sold their soul to the devil and is like as not making junk, or soon will be, so any appliances seen at the Home Depot Design Center were also out of the running. (You can't meet the demands of a Home Depot or Lowes without going cheap - just look at what happened when Black & Decker decided to start selling Porter Cable tools there - but I digress).
We looked at French ranges that were quite nice...and about the price of a new Porsche, so we kept looking. Delaubrac and Lecanche were the last two from France that we considered, and they are very pretty, but I couldn't get cozy with the idea of having to deal with a company in Europe if my range malfunctioned and I felt like getting up close and personal (I've got serious issues with crappy service and liars).
Now it sounds and seems like Blue Star is more recently making attempts to put on their big boy pants and see to it that their price increase offers its customers more than just a chance to be poorer for having made their acquaintance. They meet the needs of my mental illness as far as being close enough to fly over and drop the unit on their plant if it turns out to be crap, and more importantly...regardless of their current pricing, I haven't heard of or seen anything else that didn't also have issues.
I'm assuming (and yes I know what that implies) that Blue Star is, after 7 or so years in this specific business, still growing into their market and as such will continue as any business does to have growing pains. They are saying the right things as far as responding to past issues from what I am told, but I may have mentioned that I have been lied to before... and by a salesman of all people. So... if not Blue Star who then?
My wife bakes cakes and I the breads and pastries. We are mainly interested in a cook top and were thinking of separate gas and electric wall ovens to compliment the Salamander since we couldn't decide which oven was best.
Stratoblaster, when wife number first was attending culinary school she, and as a consequence we, were living like poor college students. Don't know how ya swung it but I couldn't have even have dreamed of owning a 60" pro style range back then. Hell I would have been happy just being able to pay for the gas to run one. It appears that being a student has become much more lucrative since my time - back when we still killed our dinner every day with a stick and dinosaurs roamed the earth.