Thanks for all the feedback. We made a decision on Friday - Harvey Normans had a sale on a range of cleaners, and we checked some of them out against Consumer magazine. They had the Panasonic MC-5520 that Trig42 mentioned, for $139, but it was the display model only, and I wasn't too keen on that. We ended up going for the Nilfisk Coupe Neo, a bag model, for $138. Consumer magazine noted that they no longer recommend bagless models, for many of the same reasons listed here. They also listed some broad reliability guides for different brands, and Nilfisk were included as average, but Hoover was listed as below average. The Nilfisk is compact, seems to have reasonable power, and should be fine for a small flat.