I've tried other handheld vacuums in the past, and they have all been rubbish. Great idea but never had the power to make them worthwhile, as invariably it would be easier to persevere with a dustpan and brush. This Dyson however I'm pleased to say doesn't have this problem. The 'no loss of suction' claim really makes a difference on a unit this size. I have found myself using it for all sorts of jobs.
We have hard floors throughout most of our house, so it was brought mainly for the rugs, sofa and stairs. It cleans all of these brilliantly, and as we have an 18 month old child it gets plenty of use. Its great on the stairs as I no longer have to lug a full size hoover up and down. It's also not bad at cleaning the kitchen floor!
I was a little worried about the battery life after reading some of the other comments on here, but am pleased to say it has yet to run out on me. I've whipped around all the areas of the house before and it has been fine. The linear battery technology works great as it doesn't lose power even when the battery is running low. To be honest if the job is any bigger than 10 minutes work then you really shouldn't be relying on a handheld hoover. Your arm starts to ache after this long if nothing else! My only slight criticism would be it takes longer to do the large rug in the lounge than I had originally anticipated, but this is due to the width of the attachment being much narrower than a full size hoover, rather than any design fault per se.
Glad I spent a little more for the animal version, because the motorised attachment is the best for cleaning carpets. I also bought an extra wide nozzle, but this is not as good as the motorised one. Yes it is expensive, but I don't think any of the other manufacturers have an equivalent product. Also this has now become our main hoover, so the £200 full size hoover sitting under the stairs is now looking like a waste of money. Recommended.