In the mid 1990's, I bought a T-fal steam iron. I loved that iron. It was cheap, it steamed like a demon and was nice and light and maneuverable. Alas, last fall it quit heating up. I assume that the thermostat burned out. However, I had gotten over 15 years from it, a nice long run, and used it every single day, so I consigned it to the trash with thanks and went out in search of a new iron.
Rowenta irons seemed to be the best made (and, gulp, the most expensive) that I found in town. I didn't want to order an iron because I wanted to pick it up and assess the grip and the weight. I decided on a Rowenta Focus that I bought at the local Bed Bath and Beyond. I brought it home, started using it and loved it.
However ------- a couple of days ago it started spitting water droplets when you turned it from vertical to horizontal. It had never done that before. The droplets came out of the holes in the sole plate so I was at a loss to fix the problem. I had had a lot of cheap irons in the past which did this, but the Rowenta never did. Then, I picked it up two days ago and found a soggy spot on the ironing board cover. I couldn't figure out where the water was seeping out so I put a wash cloth under it to absorb the water while I pondered the problem.
Yesterday I went over to press some quilt blocks and when I picked up the iron, water poured out of the base around the electric cord. EEEEEK! I quickly unplugged the iron. I found that when you tipped the iron just a little past vertical with the sole plate pointing upward instead of downward the water in the tank all ran out. Evidently the water tank cracked and finally let go completely. Rats. I was back in the iron shopping business. After only one year.
I knew that the selection in town was poor, so I went back to Bed Bath and Beyond to look at the Rowentas. I know, I know - once burned twice shy. But really, there wasn't a lot to choose from. I ended up buying another Focus. This was as much as I was willing to pay for an iron, but I wanted one that really steamed and heated up quickly, so Rowenta was the best choice. Maybe I just got a lemon before; Let's see if this one lasts longer.
I did love the model names for the Rowenta irons, though. I could have bought a "Steamium". Isn't that a great name for an iron?