While researching appliances for the kitchen, I looked at dozens of websites, and hundreds, if not thousands, of options. Typically "the internet" is my favorite store but while there were deals to be found on some of the items on our appliance wish list, in the end we ended up buying all of our appliances locally (with tax) and from one place. It just made things simpler, and gave us a bit more peace of mind.
Refrigerator: Thermador T36IB800SP
As previously discussed, this is basically the showpiece of the kitchen, even though the whole point is to not see it. It's big, expensive, and really damn fancy. We probably don't deserve to have anything this nice in our house, but we're going for it.
Range: AGA APRO-36DFSS
Our only real requirements for the range were that it be 36" wide and dual fuel (gas cooktop with an electric oven) — we're big on baking and gas ovens have a reputation for uneven heat. As it turns out, besides a few weird brands no one has ever heard of, it's hard to find anything that fits those specs that doesn't break the bank. The big names (Wolf, Viking, Bluestar, Thermador, etc.) are all $7-9k; not even an option with our budget. A couple of DCS models came in a bit less, but still close to $6,000 and still more than we wanted to spend. Initially, we were pretty set on the KitchenAid KDRS467VSS. It has the look and features we want, but with a price that's about half of a comparable Wolf, Viking, etc. But it seems to be EXACTLY 36" wide (rather than slightly under like all other brands) which means that cabinet layout gets thrown off a little because of that. Our contact at Viola Park advised us against that, so we kept looking. We came across the Pro Plus from AGA, which is a fairly new model (a stainless "pro" style range for the American market) from a very established English brand best known for their enameled cast iron cookers. The Pro Plus is only a five burner, rather than the six we originally wanted, but it's got a unique feature that lets you divide the oven, seems to review favorably (from what we found - since it's new there's not too much out there), and most importantly the price was right.
Dishwasher: Bosch SHV68R53UC
We wanted a unit that would accept a panel and since our remodeled kitchen will be a bit more open to the living room we wanted a unit that would be quiet too, which at 44dB this should be. Initially we were looking at the Bosch SHV9ER53UC, which at 39dB is evidently the quietest dishwasher you can buy. But it also ended up being about $800 more than the SHV68R53UC we're going with. Although we're making some high end splurges, we also have a budget we're trying to stick to, and $800 more for 5dB of sound difference and a few extra bells and whistles didn't seem like something we could justify. They're both 800 series, so we're still getting a really nice unit, just not the absolute top of the Bosch line (which is fine). Plus, the place we got our appliances from had a brand new SHV68R53UC someone had ordered but changed their mind about, so we got it at a discount.
Hood: Zephyr ZROM90BS
This was a last minute find. I looked at a dizzying array of hoods, most of which were budget breakers. I found a few that were really inexpensive, but the reviews made them sound like they were comparable to jet engines when in use. Then there were others that seemed good functionally and were in the right price range, but look like bizarre sci-fi props. The Zephyr Roma seems to be a nice balance of style/functionality and price. We could definitely have spent more to get a better, quieter hood, like a Vent-a-Hood or Futuro Futuro, but the hood was the lowest priority item on our appliance list so we went with good enough here. It looks great, it should work fine for our needs, and most of the time we're not going to be using at its full 600cfm anyway.
We ended up getting everything from Mountain High Appliance, in Louisville, CO. We weren't psyched to be paying sales tax on things we could have ordered online, but we are happy to be supporting the local guys, and to have some real folks to contact if we have any problems. Plus, we're getting professional installation on everything, which saves us (me) from staying up at night worrying I didn't get something hooked up right. Mountain High has a great showroom that has been nice to visit, and they've been friendly and helpful every time we've been in. If you're in the market and stop by, ask for Steve Wright. He was great to work with.