I paid full price for my Miele and I haven't had a problem with it after several years. Worth every penny. Everyone told me I was crazy and guess what, some of those haters now own the same Miele after their third vacuum broke on them. Even the Miele feels a little cheap compared to really old vacuums, but it still does its job despite moderate abuse.
If you buy quality, you should only need to buy a couple in your lifetime, so I don't even sweat shopping around too hard to save $100. I'd rather spend the extra money buying locally. One thing I can't stand is people who go check out a product locally then go buy it online to save $25 after shipping.
I don't tell people how much stuff costs and if they really want to know, I just tell them it's the only one I plan on buying in my entire lifetime and is cheaper in the long run. Whatever, they can hate all they want on those inconvenient trips back to the repair shop.