I love my hand vac or vac's! It's my absolute, can't do without, cleaning tool. I have 2, wishing I had 3. I keep one in my kitchen and one up stairs in the hallway. I use it every day after I blow-dry my hair to clean up all the "hair-shed". I use it after breakfast, lunch and dinner...well...because I have a toddler. I clean up crushed cracker, crumbled cookies, dropped raisins, spilled cereal...the list goes on. If I had to pull out my giant Dyson and haul it up and down all three levels of my house every time I needed sucking power, I'd have a soar back and about an hour less time in my day. Now that would really suck :)
Bottom line...if you don't have one, you should put it on your "must have" list immediately! If it's any incentive, one of my friends purchased one last year after a conversation we had. A few weeks later she thanked me. Not only did she love the convenience of a hand vac, she said her kids all loved it as well. They now fight over who gets to clean up any mess that occurs. That sounds like reason enough to me!
My other hand vac is a Dirt Devil Scorpion 6 volt Cordless Hand Vac. I got this one to replace my upstairs vac when it died on me a few months ago. We had actually paid about $55 for our Back & Decker so I wanted something cheap and found this on clearance at Target for $12.99. My upstairs one isn't used quite as much and mostly just for hair and dirt when I clean the bathrooms etc... so I wasn't concerned with having "the best". But I must say, even though it isn't quite as powerful, it works great and I haven't had any problems. It's also a lot smaller than my Black & Decker, so Reese loves to use it. At 19 months old, I already have her vacuuming.