I was inspired by this post
in which Dustin Curtis describes his exhaustive search for the best
things (flatware in particular here) and the peace of mind gained from being able to trust that thing to do its job as excellently as possible.
I want to hear more examples of well-researched, field-tested, first-rate, absolutely best-of-class things
I'll start: Darn Tough merino boot socks
. Made in Vermont. Costs about same as comparable SmartWool or whatever else. I've tried a lot of different socks over the years, and found some really nice ones, but their lifespan is very limited. Comfortable at first, but then they stretch out and wear thin and get holes and you have to get new ones within a year or two. Not so with these. I've got three pairs of varying ages, and they're still as comfortable and snug as they day I got them, with no holes and no thin areas in the toes or heels. I don't know what the magic is, but I can't seem to wear them out. And if I do, the company offers a lifetime satisfaction guarantee, which I will totally take them up on, because I am a cheap bastard.
So let me have it: what is the best, at any price?
(Please no drive-by brand shout-outs. I want to hear personal experience with a particular make-and-model of a given thing. Why is it so much better than everything else out there?)