I've had a Dyson DC25 Animal for a year, and it's amazing. On area rugs, carpets, and furniture it vacuums up a huge amount of dust and dirt I can't even see. And it gets *all* the cat hair.
The differences between mine and this model are:
Mini-Turbine Head attachment
- the DC24 is apparently a little smaller (which would be perfect for a small house like mine - I've never seen the canister on my model even half full), and
- the "Animal" models come with the Mini-Turbine Head attachment, which you can buy separately for $70 or less (it fits any of the Dyson vacs).
Occasionally you have to open the brush assembly to remove a string or something that's gotten wrapped around it, but that's a snap and takes about a minute. Emptying the vacuum's dirt canister into the trash can is a piece of cake and not messy at all.
When in "floor mode," the Dyson ball/swivel design does make it very maneuverable in tight spaces, around corners, etc. And the low profile of the floor vacuum head makes it easy to get under the edge of the fridge, furniture, etc.
My only regret is that the Dysons don't seem to have a ceiling fan blade attachment -- score one for my crappy old Hoover model.
One Dyson feature not often mentioned is the geek appeal of these vacuums. Many guys (and gals) who normally wouldn't have much interest in housework will be attracted to this gizmo because it's kind of fun to see it in action.
I got my DC25 Animal new for more than twice this much. At $200, this model looks like a steal to me.