With our house progressing, we're frantically trying to finalize things like appliances and finishing details because we know we're not going to have time to do so once we're in the middle of insulating, drywalling, and all that fun stuff. I've been scouring Craigslist looking for a good deal, but we haven't really settled on what we're looking for yet, so that's making things a little difficult.
I'm feeling a huge amount of pressure to go along with the current trend toward high end stainless steel appliances, and while I do like the look of them , I don't love the inflated price (or their tendency to attract fingerprints). I don't really mind the look of nice white appliances, including coil elements, which seem to be on their way to extinction. In fact, my dream would be to get a set of refurbished antique appliances (I adore the look of fridges and stoves from the 1940's and 50's), with their white enamel and shiny chrome accents, but the price is prohibitive. I've looked at getting originals that haven't yet been updated, and while that is technically recycling, their high energy requirement is a turnoff. We're going for a "modern farmhouse" look for out kitchen (wood floors, beadboard, and other vintage touches), so I think good quality white appliances would look fine, especially if we throw in a few stainless touches elsewhere (knobs, faucets, etc.).
Clearly I need some help solving my dilemma, and I'm hoping that some of you might take the time to weigh in with your opinion on this matter. What do you prefer? White or stainless? Coil or ceramic cooktop (gas isn't an option)? Convection or not? Bottom or top mount refrigerator? Is there a particular brand that you swear by (or swear off)? Why?