After a few years, and a couple of trips to the shop, we finally had to retire our sturdy microwave oven. On reflection, I realized that we had, for one reason or another, always bought Sharp brand microwaves. I haven't kept any records, but they all seemed to need a trip to the shop after one or two years. I don't know if this reflects poorly on Sharp, or is representative of mass market consumer appliances. Consumer Reports indicates that Sharp has one of the highest rate of repair of any brand.
So. Over the weekend I did a survey of various brands, then checked a few local stores for what was available, and we settled on a Panasonic model available at Fry's. Consumer Reports rates it second only after Sears Kenmore, and it's got the requisite features, so we are back up and running. This entry serves as a reminder of when it went into service, so I can check if and when it starts having problems that doom us to another service trip.