I originally posted this on Houzz Design Dilemma, and then I found this forum, which I think is a better resource. Here is what I wrote over there:
I purchased a one-story townhome and have been living in it full time for two months. I knew when I purchased it that I would be updating the kitchen, but the budget won't allow me to do a full renovation. What I plan to do is to paint the dark oak cabinets in BM White Dove, replace the appliances, replace the MW with a real vent hood, install granite countertops and white/off-white subway tile. My dilemma is the range.
I knew when I bought this house that I wouldn't want to settle for something that I'm not all in for (sounds very Vegas, doesn't it?). I know that I want an open burner range and have narrowed it down to three. All have to be 30" because I don't have scads of room and won't be moving cabinets. Those three are American Range Performer, Capital Culinarian, and BlueStar RNB. I can get the three of them within a certain price point - although I'm hoping to be able to splurge for red - and will suit my inner chef just fine.
What I'm looking for is feedback from owners of these three ranges. I've been researching for months (way before I moved in), and have decided that - at least on paper - these three will fit my needs. Here are my concerns: I've been obsessing over cooking shows/competitions and have made several observations. When "real" chefs are involved, the ranges are generally high-end although I can't always figure out the brands. I understand that commercial ranges are different from residential, and believe it or not, I know the reasons why. For instance, I know that "Chopped" uses the Culinarian. Other shows use ranges with star-shaped burners, and the movie "Chef" has a star-shaped open burner in its opening scene. Yes, I'm that obsessed.
I only want to make this purchase once, and I want to love the range once it's in. Even if it has issues out of the gate, I want to feel secure that the manufacturer/distributor will be responsive and stand behind the product. I had the KitchenAid Architect series about a decade ago and KitchenAid was so unresponsive that I'll NEVER purchase another KitchenAid large appliance. (The slide-in gas range would randomly go through the cleaning cycle and became a fire hazard even before the motherboard literally fell out into my hands. No bueno). I've read the older threads on this issue, and want updated 2016/2017 feedback. I have till spring, so I'm in no hurry.
Thanks for any responses. Here's the space where the range will go. I had a party last night, so excuse the mess.