I recently got back in to homebrewing after a several year sabbatical. I wanted to be able to do it right, kegs and all. My girlfriend and I were at BestBuy and saw a Kegerator with a stainless steel door for $450. I was impressed. My girlfriend gave me the a-ok to pick up a kegerator as long as it is built in to the deck. Good enough for me!
I did a lot of research before I made my purchase. Turns out the Haier at BestBuy looked good, but struggles to keep large kegs cold. In addition the reviews of Customer Service were absolutely terrible across the board. I looked in to converting dorm style fridges and mini freezers, but that route seemed poor. The dorm fridges can only fit homebrew kegs, one or two tops. I wanted to be able to fit 2-3 corny kegs, as well as 1/4 and 1/2 barrel kegs. The freezer kegerator mods just seemed like a pain: trying to life a 1/2 barrel in and out of a freezer wouldn't be fun. Finally, the cost of buying a mini fridge and the keg kits wasn't much (if at all) cheaper than than a new mid-price kegerator.
I found a kegerator that was perfect:
Sanyo BC-1206 **link dead**
Quick aside, the Summit 500 series is identical.
***updated in 2013 - The 1206 series is no longer available. The comparitive model is still the Summit 500 series, but it appears the cooling plate is now smaller. Perhaps it is more efficient?
These kegerators fit up to a 1/2, and are engery efficient. They are super quiet and have a large cooling plate inside (the Haier's plate is about half the size).
I watched craigslist for a while and found a used one at a good price in great shape.
With the kegerator chosen and foolishly hauled up the stairs by myself, I went to work upgrading it to a two tapper. The next Post will have detailed pictures on how to do this.