Being as my family is scandinavian, I have a soft spot for Ikea. As an infant, I wore H&M pajamas in an Ikea crib. I've had the Kramfors leather sofa, which is their top of the line, for a couple of years now. It's holding up like a champ. No complaints whatsoever. It's by far my most often-complimented material posession.
I agree that their furniture assembly can be a bitch, but for low-intesity usage things, it doesnt bother me. Can't say i'd buy an Ikea bed or kitchen table though. The Kramfors came all in one piece, and its very structurally sound, despite being surprisingly light (just metal beams,dark espresso leather and dense foam... they also have a flat black one, but it looks wicked cheap). When you go to Ikea, I advise going in-through-the-out-door (never bad advice) and pass through the check-out to hit up the as-is section. Thats where returns and display models end up. Some stuff ther is badly damaged, but when a choice piece lands there, it's snatched up immediately. Using this method, I paid under $900 (down from $1400) for my 2 Kramfors sectionals because it was a floor model. Had I taken the normal hourlong-browse upstairs route, i'd never have gotten it.