Opinions on a freezer
The 'flash' defrost was nice; to defrost you'd hit a button that turned on heaters inside; melted it up pretty quick. Not sure they have that feature or not anymore (probably have even better features now).
We liked the chest design, as you lost very little cold when you opened the door. Plus, it is very unlikely that you'd ever accidentally leave the door open, causing everything to spoil. The fact that the cold air "sinks" and stays in the chest was the main reason we went with that design.
As for 'frost free'--we don't have personal experience with those. I'd think the luxury it provides would not only cost more, but their built-in periodic defrostings might cause food to last not quite as long.
We sold our freezer probably 7 years ago and still miss it! Don't eat all that beef at once, OK?
** Are there any brands I should avoid? **
There are only a limited number of freezer manufacturers left in the market place, all the other appliance manufacturers just rebrand those with their own brand names. Frigidaire had 68% of the domestic market share in 2002 and WC Wood 21%.
You can see whom makes what brand of freezer in the "Who makes what" page in the 'Repair Parts' section of my site linked below.
IMO both makes are about the same quality although Wood's replacement parts prices are usually significantly lower than Frigidaire's but may not be as readily accessible (few places sell them).
BTW. If you ask the butcher to pre-freeze the meat for you it will put less strain on the freezer than loading a whole (or even 1/2) side of beef into it at one time. Only full size freezers would even be able to handle such a load adequately.
The Appliance Information Site
[This message has been edited by DanO (edited September 27, 2003).]