Ok, you guys inspired me to go take a look at the wand on mine. You are correct, the hose does separate from the light saber part, and it has a fair amount of stretch. I still say it's not the most convenient solution to hose use. Kind of a lot of work just to use the hose, and like one person opined already, when you stretch out the hose it pulls the vac toward you. I do appreciate the tip, though. Now I don't feel like Luke Skywalker when using the wand part. Guess this is why they say read the book. lol.
I still stand by my opinion that the genius behind this machine is in letting you see the dirt you've picked up. You mentally think the machine is doing a better job than your old unit, where the dirt was hidden. Immediate vacuuming gratification. It works. I think this is why so many people are convinced this cleans better. That, and as I said, when people lay out $400 for a vacuum, they want to think that it's great.
Overall, though, not a bad unit if you 1) use the hose infrequently 2) aren't bothered by the short cord and 3) need a new vacuum anyway. If I had a working vac currently, probably not worth the coin, but not a bad buy if you need one at $250. $350 or $400 for a Dyson would be highway robbery based on my experience with ours, but $250...ok, I can justify that much.