I've been using slow cookers for about 25 years. I got the 48715 last Christmas (2007) and it's been serving this family of four at least once a week since. Like any other kitchen appliance, some common sense in its use will avoid any of the negatives I've read here.
A slow cooker is not a 'set-it-and-forget-it' device, and they're not marketed as such. Admittedly the 48715 runs hotter than one might expect, but that's true of most modern slow cookers. In fact the one niggle I have with it is the number of times I've inadvertently touched the hot metal base, but that's me being clumsy. There's a warning printed on the front, 'Hot metal surfaces do not touch.' And even at the age of fifty-something, I can still burn toast occasionally.
If you must leave it unattended, a timer socket (for around a tenner) can be handy, but consider how long the raw ingredients will be sitting at room temperature. Better to set it to come on within a hour of you leaving, and to turn off after a set number of hours. The residual heat will continue to cook the contents for some time, and half an hour on high will get it hot enough to eat.
Use the thing enough times and you'll get to know how far you can trust it to be left on its own.
The ceramic bowl has integrated moulded handles to allow it to be carried to the table and sat on a heat-proof mat. I doubt if I'd try to carry a full cooker by the handles on the base with the power cable trailing everywhere. I don't think that's the plan, Stan.
All in all a great investment -- and a great partner for that other energy-saver, the pressure cooker -- this slow cooker has paid for itself several times over in the last nine months. If it dies on me tomorrow, I'll be right back for another.