One medium-sized piece of luggage I have has served me for a long time. It went to Glasgow in 1995, Australia in 1999, and Japan in 2007. While it was very handy, with detachable straps that turned it into a rather tall backpack, it's pretty much nearing the end. It has been in need of replacement for some time now. Recent breaks in the framework don't look repairable. The luggage shop that sells that brand and claims "lifetime warranty" won't repair this one. ("Not on those old models," they said, which means promises of warranty on current models mean nothing. No, I didn't save paperwork from luggage purchased more than thirteen years ago.)
I didn't realize just how difficult replacing this bag would be until I went to look for a new bag of the same dimensions. The old bag is square in cross-section, not rectangular like most pieces of luggage of this class. (I'm not talking about an over-the-shoulder duffel bag, but a rolling bag suitable for a longish trip.) While that makes it slightly less stable as a rolling bag, it means it fits in places where rectangular luggage won't fit, including the trailer in Mehama. It's proved surprisingly difficult to find a bag that was about the right size and square. I saw one in a luggage store in San Jose, but it was something like $400, which was a lot more than I was willing to pay.
Today, on the way back from Yuba City, we stopped at the Nut Tree area first for lunch and a look through Borders and then across the freeway at the Factory Stores in order to walk off the lunch. One of the places we looked was a luggage store, where I saw the same bag I'd seen in San Jose at half the cost. That's because the model is discontinued -- the manufacturer has a new model that's expensive like the old one, but isn't that much better as far as I can see. After some soul-searching, I decided to go ahead and plunk down the $200 for a new medium rolling bag.
Once I got it home, I discovered that while it has approximately the proportions I want, it's slightly bigger in square cross-section than the old bag. The main bad part about this is that it won't fit in the space up above our closets. This apartment has space above the closets where our luggage fits. This bag is just slightly too big to fit there, so I've had to move other things around to make room for the bag elsewhere when it's not in use.
The minor item that I'll not worry about that much is that, being slightly larger in cross-section, I know that it probably won't fit in a Japanese large luggage locker the way my older bag barely did. As I'm not expecting to visit Japan again for a long time, if ever (despite having enjoyed my visit last year), this isn't the most pressing of concerns.
Now I only hope that it will fit onto the shelf in the trailer in Mehama where I put my luggage when I'm in Oregon.