I have a couple of the 3-D model and a couple of the 2-AA models. I used a 3-D model in boyscouts for about 5 years and it saw a lot of abuse, used it to hammer in tent stakes a couple times. Still going strong.
Had mine for almost 7 years. I have dropped it on the ground and in the water uncountable times, used the butt to hammer little things. The only thing that has broke it the rubber switch fell out but the button still works. Same bulb in it as well.
I would like to switch over the the LED insert soon though. I see a few of you others have. How do you like it?
Incredible product. I own 3 2xAA, 3 2xD-cell (1 LED), and 2 Rechargeable... many for over 10 years. They have taken just about everything I've ever even attempted to throw at them and continue to amaze me.
I own a 6D and a 3D and a few of those Mini AA one. Ive always had good luck. I would say there like the Glock of the Flashlight world. Ive droped my in the Missouri River and it still works ive ran mine over with my truck. Droped it out of a high tree stand. Beat an attacking dog off with one. Hit some one over the head with one. I mean you can do anything to it and they still work!
I have at least one of about every size there is and several of the really little ones. I have one in my truch that recharges off of my cigarette lighter. I've been told that a dead flashlight in the truck can be considered a weapon so I have my charger plugged in and charge the thing once a month or so. I love them.
Only bad experience I had was when I stored one for a long time and the battery acid leaked out of a dead battery and made a royal mess in my storage container. Not the light's fault...cheapo battery probably.
Prefer Streamlight, Sure Fire, and Insight Technologies lights. I have a standard issue rechargeable Mag light mounted inside the car, but it really hasn't been all that reliable. It tends to either not charge when in the holder, or not turn on when the button is pressed. Maybe it needs a good cleaning. At 0300 in the pitch dark, I will always be using my Sure Fire light, with a small Streamlight in my upper vest pocket as a backup. I scan low, high, and 360, looking not only for 2 leggers, but snakes as well. The lower power lights don't illuminate snakes, gators, wild hogs, and big cats like the tactical lights do. I also have a Streamlight pencil with green LED which has survived for a good 4 years now.
2xAA ones with 1W LED are good. They are fairly power efficient, which is the main thing.
Saying that I carry a 3w unbranded Cree one bought from my local supermarket for £15 (~$30) and it's pretty good. It's water proof enough too (it survived the toilet test while I was changing the toilet seat).
I have 2 minimags (2AA) ,I like their brightness and tough aluminum construction, but the bulbs burn out rather quickly. I also have the 4D model which I bought for it's usefulness as a bludgeoning/self defense weapon. Obviously LED flashlights are the way to go ,as far as brightness ,longevity of light element, and battery efficiency. But maglights make one hell of a skull breaker..
I had a 6 C cell and 3 D cell as well as a solitaire key light, and several AA Mini Mags. The C and D cell ones are no more, after various failures not really Mag's fault. I still have the AA ones with LED upgrades and my daughter carries the Solitaire on her key chain. My current EDC is a Surefire G3.
with the new LED versions, you have insane amounts of run time, and there is a company making a drop in for them that doesn't deminish in lumens as it heats up, so you get great light for long periods of time.
Once you adopt Streamlight you'll put away your Maglites. I still keep those in the house as backup lights, but for all practical purposes I prefer the rechargeable types. Just be sure to have both AC and DC chargers. I also think SureFire makes a good lithium battery light. I found a website recently where you can get a SureFire for $85 with free shipping and six or eight free lithium batteries. I called to make that order, got a machine, and no one ever called me back. By now the sale is probably gone.