A toaster is a useful kitchen appliance, although not one that's absolutely necessary, and not one we really give a lot of thought to. At least, not until it comes time to buy a new one. But even then, since it's relatively inexpensive as far as kitchen appliances go, it's not something we spend much time researching.
I honestly can't tell you the last time I bought a toaster. (Actually, I very well might never have purchased one.) I have one that sits in the far reaches of the cabinet above the refrigerator; it's a scrappy-looking thing that I estimate was purchased no later 1995. Curious to see how today's toasters stack up, I stocked up on carbs to see which one of these machines is most reliable at making the very best piece of toast.