There have been lots of long discussions about toaster ovens on Chowhound over the years, so I wanted to share ....
For a while now I've been eyeing the $9.99 appliances at Walgreens. For ten bucks they've got to be awful, but for ten bucks, what have you got to lose, right? So the other day I finally gave in to my curiosity and bought the 2-slice toaster oven (there's also a 4-slice model for $19.99). I don't have a lot of counter space, and I just wanted something to reheat single servings without firing up the big oven, so a cheap, small oven was worth checking out.
It's actually pretty nifty for a $10 appliance: it has three settings: bake (bottom element only), broil (top element only) and toast (both elements). The on-switch is basically a timer, with the first three increments marked "light," "medium" and "dark" and the succeeding increments being one minute each.
Of course I had to test it out on toast, and to my amazement (because in my experience toaster ovens don't toast well), and after the recommended pre-heating, it actually toasted! On both sides! Better than my housemate's regular toaster! And it reheats/defrosts just fine.
So basically, I'm completely happy with my $10 investment. And if it breaks, I'll just pick up another one (which since I work in downtown San Francisco with a Walgreens seemingly on every other corner, is no big deal). Meanwhile, after reading all the toaster-oven-fire-stories here, I'll be sure to follow the instructions to unplug it when it's not in use.
BTW, if $10 is too rich for your blood, they periodically put their $9.99 appliances on sale for $7.99.