So after years of trouble free service our electric tea kettle is gone (crushed... but that is another tale).
In the interim (Queen Victoria holiday and all the stores were closed) we pulled out the stove top kettle that we keep for power outages. Couldn't believe how long a stove top kettle takes to boil water in comparison to the electric! Even on our 'high output' gas range.
Stores open in another hour or so, and I'm jonesing for some tea - so it's off to buy a replacement - Electric - kettle.
Just got a nice kenwood. It lights up blue when it's on the base, then red when you turn it on. Quite cool. But the metal does get really hot.
That reminds me, my friend was telling about one which has a thermos-like outer. I'll look it up.
Luwak, the English company Russell Hobbs that probably made the reputable line of electric kettles of fond memory is no more. Pilfco (also British) acquired Russell Hobbs (from Polly Peck) in 1991, then Pilfco in turn was acquired by the United States company Salton in 2001. When Salton acquired Russell Hobbs, all of the former Russell Hobbs inventory was liquidated and replaced by Russell Hobbs branded merchandise produced by Salton's providers. The new Saltonized Russell Hobbs models, some or all of which in my understanding are sourced in China, may be excellent -- we have no personal experience with the new models -- but other than name they bear little relationship to the Russell Hobbs appliances of the 20th century.
Some good models of electric kettles available in North America are the Braun WK200 and the Chef's Choice (Edgecraft) Electric French Press, both of which historically have been manufactured in Germany. Do not let the "French press" part of the Chef's Choice model name lead you astray: the unit comes with two interchangeable tops, one plain and one with an integrated French press plunger; when used with the plain top, it is an electric kettle.