I bought a 3500w Sears generator in 2000. i used it a fair bit on the farm for non-emergent work but really haven't needed it in an emergency since the N/E blackout of 2003. I keep about 1/4 tank in it, dump the fuel and run it under a load twice a year. It starts second pull every time but other than that I haven't needed it in years. My only concern is whether it would run my new furnace but I haven't gotten around to check. Power here is pretty stable except for the odd weather-related outage of a few hours (and the odd numpty taking out a pole).