"GE Spacemaker II 1 cu ft 800 watts stainless steel JEM31SF":http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=928352/search=spacemaker%2520ii. It figures that 18 months after we buy a microwave that it dies.
We are stuck on GE mainly because they haven't change the user interface and the thought of learning more than one is terrifying. Lists for $249 (stainless), but the regular colors (white, black and bisque) are$199 list.
The cool features on this one are that if you press the 1 button, it just turns on for one minute, etc. There is also an add 30 seconds button. Most hilarious is that there is a child lock that only "Alex":https://tongfamily.com/family/alex knows how to use 🙂
Main gotcha is that it is very easy to make a mistake and reset the clock (you press clock, then clear then a number and then clock and you've reset it).
This one is only 1 cubic foot and 800 watts, but that is all we really need, don't do roasts in ours. Having it spin inside is nice too, but we don't have that. It is very small and compact.
I'm sure there are cheaper ones, but Pricegrabber shows that "Sears":http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=SEARS&pid=02073129000 has it for $199 and shipping is very expensive for these. This is actually the cheapest price that pricegrabber shows. Another review mentions that theirs died too, I guess too many parts made by my cousins in China 🙂 Now if you don't want the same interface, there are certainly cheaper ones. For instanct the Panasonic "NN-T654SF":http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000277X8S/qid=1112244191/br=1-4/ref=br_lf_k_4//104-4605664-8295141?v=glance&s=kitchen&n=289935 is silver, costs just$100. It is alos 1300 watts and still pretty small at 16"x21x12". The main issue is that one review on Amazon notes the thing dies in a couple of months. Not surprising. That is really cheap.
These things are pretty much commodities where reliability matters. It is amazing to me that epinions et al just have nothing on them. Are there no general reviews of things like this on the web? If so, google can't find them. The only one I saw was from "about.com":http://busycooks.about.com/cs/microwavemagic/tp/microwave.htm where busycooks picks out a few models. Most interesting piece was about Panasonics inverter technology. Where instead of running 50 percent power by turning off half the time (that's what all those fancy power setting really do, the things runs full bore but shuts off part of the time), apparently, they actually turn the microwave power down. She says that the cooking works better (makes sense to me) so there are fewer cold spots and burnt edges.
The Panasonic "NNS564SF":http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/vModelDetail?displayTab=O&storeId=15001&catalogId=13401&itemId=70990&catGroupId=25069&modelNo=NN-T654SF&surfModel=NN-T654SF has this is is about \$120 direct in stainless steel. 21"x12"X16" and is 1300 watts. Costco, Target and Sears all apparently stock Panasonic, but I'll bet they don't have every model :-). The direct price doesn't look too bad either. The main problem is the GE is 17x9x13 so it is much narrower and will fit into our narrow counter.