"Caveat: I am not a girl given to kitchen appliances. I don't even own a microwave oven. As corny as it sounds, I really believe that the whole experience surrounding food - planning and preparing a meal and then eating it with those you care about - is that much more fulfilling when you do things by hand. Not that I don't take shortcuts here and there (to wit, I'm terribly fond of those little jars of pre-minced garlic), but I really think the American fascination with so-called time-saving appliances is an economic and cultural drain, if a fascinating sociological case study.
But I bought a Snackster.
Why? Well, because it seems more versatile than some gadgets (an egg poacher, say, or a pizzelle maker). Because Significant Other is incapable of food preparation that involves more than a bowl, a spoon, and some milk, and the Snackster seemed easy -and fun- to use. It still seemed like a selfish, almost guilty purchase, however, which I justified by shopping around on the Net for good prices, waiting the requisite three days to see if I still wanted it (the best way to reduce personal consumerism that I know of), and doing some research (mostly, reading E-pinions). I really liked the fact that you could make more than grilled cheese sandwiches with it, and the promise of recipes included tempted me.
I'm disappointed with the Snackster, but am still using it and enthusiastic about it. First, the recipes included were far fewer in number than I had anticipated: perhaps a dozen sandwich recipes and some other ideas, for herb butters and crab cakes and whatnot. Sounds high-brow, huh? The sandwich recipes made up for that, their primary ingredients being things like canned chili and grated cheese. They really weren't anything I couldn't dream up myself, and came nowhere near representing the variety of options touted by so many E-pinionites.
Okay, I'm a smart girl. I can figure out my own recipes. The Snackster works well, pumping out piping-hot and golden-brown sandwich pockets. The claim that the Snackster seals and "cuts" the sandwich is a bit overblown; instead, it presses the edges of the bread together, but rarely forms a true seal, so that filling does goo out when you pick the sandwich up. And it creates an indentation that, while not cutting the sandwich, does give you a good guideline for where you can slice through it relatively easily. Toastmaster recommends using a pizza cutter, and I plan to purchase one at my local Dollar Store or Williams-Sonoma right soon.
These flaws, however, are minor, and I can certainly live with them. The Snackster is very convenient and makes any grilled-type sandwich just as well as traditional frying-pan-and-spatula method without the same amount of hassle and clean-up. The ability to make two Snackster sandwiches at once is an added bonus.
Additionally, the Snackster is just gimmicky enough to give Significant Other a good deal of enthusiasm toward fixing meals and "cooking" in general. I notice that the cheese and bread supplies seem to dwindle while I'm away from the house for any amount of time, and there are more paper plates in the trash than there ever used to be..."