Jeff and I subscribed to an RV rating service: www.rv.org, mostly because it helped us narrow down our choices. I was surprised to see that there really are not many motorhomes that get good reviews. Here is the list of brands and models with three stars and above we get to choose among:
Triple E, Commander
Triple E, Embassy
Newmar, Kountry Star
Newmar, Mountain Aire
Newmar, Canyon Star
National, Dolphin LX
Newmar, Grand Star
Newmar, Dutch Star
(sorted from highest rated, to least)
I've already spent a fair amount of time searching for RVs on the internet. In typical Sharon fashion, I have assembled a spreadsheet and binder to compile my findings. =) The Triple E's are mostly non-existent, I've only found one and it was way too expensive, same with the RoseAir. It looks like it's probably going to be a Newmar. We also don't want any motorhomes that are older than 2002, as we're looking at having to resell in 2010 and don't want to have a motorhome that is 10 years old by then. Ideally, we are looking for something that is from around 2003 to 2007. We don't actually want a new motorhome because they typically come with manufacturing problems, and many of the manufacturers are going out of business, and we won't be sure of being able to collect on the warranty repairs.
We actually went and looked at a Scottsdale locally, but the price was too high for the lower end model. What I'm hoping to get is a Dutch Star, but we may not be successful in our time frame. The Dutch Stars originally sold for over $200K, and our budget won't go above $80K (we'd actually like to keep it under $60K) so that may be too much of a discount this close to the beginning of the depression. Anyway, I have been scouring craiglist postings along the west coast, and hope to find a good deal between now and March. The picture is of the interior of a Dutch Star with the cherry wood.
I think we'll really start looking seriously in March. Though, there's a fairly good one in Portland right now, so it's tempting to jump in our car and head up there (and get to attend AnTir's 12th Night), but both Jeff and I have colds from Christmas, so it will just have to wait.