My 38 month old Sears range burned out the contacts to the heating elements. This should *rarely* happen on a properly designed range, and then only after 15 or 20 years. Fortunately we had purchased an extended warranty, so the problem will be repaired eventually. The repairman said that you should always get the extended warranty since these appliances are not built like they used to be.
So: The appliances are built to fail. When shopping, factor in the cost of extended warranties, risk of fire, and occasional lengthy down time.
Sears built its reputation on quality. What a joke!