Guns are, in a manner of speaking, an appliance. They have a function, and they do it well, for a very long time under most usage rates. The technology is pretty straightforward, the cost is competitive, the technology generally improves with time, and they are easy to operate.
Major home appliances? Not so much.
All the appliances in my home were new when we moved in ~18 years ago. Roughly last year we have replaced the upright freezer in the garage and the microwave. In the last couple of months the fridge, the dishwasher, and the water-heater have all been replaced for various reasons. The replacements have all been more expensive, less functional, and/or slower than the older ones they replaced. The old dish washer did a decent job in roughly half an hour, the new one takes more than two hours! One cycle setting even says it expects to take more than 7 (seven!) hours to finish. The appliance repair guy I talked to said (paraphrased) “the new ones are all crap, will 90% die in 5-7 years MAX regardless of how much you pay. Buy a cheap one an expect to replace it every five. They are designed to be expendable, not repairable.” I’m not optimistic about the newer clothes washing machines I’ve been reading about, either. They tout all the water savings and energy efficiency they can, but not how clean they get things or how fast they operate, or how well they rinse the soap out.
One salesman said that the average person moved every seven years, so no manufacturers design for longer than that because when someone buys a new house they get new appliances, but I call baloney on that. I think it’s backwards; people want long-lasting, trouble-free appliances, but they get new appliances when they move because they know the existing ones are crap and are likely to die soon if they are not new. The result is that people that plan on staying put for a while get screwed.
If you have to replace it in five years rather than 18, and you need to run it two or three times for the same cleaning as the old model, is it really more efficient? Of course, the reason for the falling functional quality is government “efficiency” mandates. Why can’t they just let the market decide?
And why should something as simple and well understood as a dishwasher cost over a thousand dollars? I spent a lot less than that on my new one, but a surprising number of them are >$1k, more when you include tax and delivery/haul-away. Some more than $1600 sticker price. And on top of that, WA state law now requires that anyone installing a new dishwasher (unless you are the home-owner installing your own) be a licensed electrician AND plumber! Which means there are few people that can do it legally, it’s hard to schedule, and it’s more expensive. Because REGULATION!