Just posted this over on Gardenweb, but hoping we'll get additional responses here as well.
We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen and are researching 36" gas ranges (no dual fuel). Smeg and Bertazzoni are both in our price range. We've read a fair number of complaints about the Berta oven regarding uneven temperatures, burning of baked goods, etc. Some say using convection solves this problem, but we've also read that the convection doesn't work well and isn't appropriate for all baked goods, such as bread baking. We bake bread regularly.
Are these complaints about the Berta valid? We've also read some reviews that love this range.
Meanwhile, the Smeg seems like a great alternative, but it has few reviews and given its newness on the American market, we worry that repairs and parts might be challenging. Has anyone gotten a Smeg and used it? Is it worth the risk of potential parts/service difficulty? We called AJ Madison and talked to their sales guy, since they sell both brands and seem pretty high volume, and he said he's heard nothing but good things about the Smeg and would go with it over the Berta. Then we called back and talked to a different guy who said the opposite. Help!
About us: we cook almost every day, but we've always dealt with low-end ranges in rental units. We make jam, beer, can tomato sauce, you name it. The 36" will be a dream for our big canning pots. But we simply can't afford the Capital or a blue star.
Looking forward to the wisdom of the group. We need to make a decision quickly. Thanks!