When we moved into this house we also inherited an original (circa 1986) Tappan stove/oven, a nice off-white version with fluorescent stove light that flickers on if you hold the button down long enough ;)... All four burners ignite, the oven bakes things... generally speaking, it has served us well. Are you at all surprised that I took photos of our oven and made collages? I didn't think so.
Other notable characteristics include the peeling "wood" veneer (sticker), charred burners, an oven door that is sealed by a now ineffective, flimsy gasket (if you stand in front of the oven while it is on, you will feel the actual temperature it is set to, shooting up toward your face). Speaking of the oven door, despite hours (I'm not kidding) of scouring and scrubbing with every kind of solvent (chemical and natural), I can not get the grime off the door to see through the window, so I can't really see in, and it always looks dirty. The "digital" clock, which may or may not work, we really don't care, has been set to 7:14, probably since the first Bush administration.
I know some people cook on even older, rougher looking appliances and they aren't complaining... well, I'm not complaining either (although I will say our oven has a lot of "character" compared to most others' we know), but I just think it is nice to be able to upgrade! We wanted to replace this appliance for a couple years now, and patiently waited until we could buy with cash, and put in one that was nice enough to last a long time, just like I am sure this one was back in the era of roller-skates and Rubik's Cubes, when it was brand new along with the house (built in 1986).
After over 20 years of service, this old girl is ready to retire. Our new stove is being delivered sometime tomorrow (although I'll be shooting a wedding, so when I come home it should be all hooked up and ready for action!). We love cooking with gas burners. The stove surface is cast-iron, and recessed down to almost countertop level, so it will still look pretty streamlined on our island. I also like being able to see through the oven door! It has a great safety feature that locks out the controls so kids can't accidentally turn on the stove or oven, which was important to me, since we needed a slide-in (due to the height of the taller part of our island/bar, we can't have to drop-in with the controls in the back). I am really easy to please... but we are excited because this is basically the first new big-ticket item we have ever purchased for our home, besides our vacuum cleaner, TV, and our Ikea bedroom dressers (our other furniture, and appliances are all second-hand) - probably because so much of our resources were put into remodeling and updating the house itself. We went with a Kenmore. Over the next couple of years we hope to replace our other appliances with Kenmore stainless steel as well. Anyway, here's a look at what we're getting: