A few years ago my sister in law decided to surprise my daughter and I with twin gifts - Chi ionic ceramic flat irons. I'd been using a Baby Bliss for awhile until I finally tuckered the poor thing out and it no longer turned on and my daughter was using a Corsair that although decent just wasn't a Chi.
My sister in law purchased two of these Chi flat irons off Ebay and got them for a great price. The one I chose is black and the one my daughter took was white. My daughter's white one has stained due to the heat she sets it at whereas mine shows no wear in that area at all. My flat iron doesn't get used daily - usually when I flat iron my hair after washing I'll give my hair a rest and let it go a day or two without using the flat iron again. I can get away with this because I no longer put a lot of products in my hair as I use to do.
The Chi flat iron that I own has the newer digital reading which is good and bad. The way in which the buttons are situated on this particular model, unless you hold the flat iron in a certain way - thumb and fingers positioned over the digital read out, it's very easy to turn the flat iron off or decrease/increase the heat setting. This flat iron heats up to over 200 degrees which is extremely hot - particularly if it comes into contact with skin as I've had happen a time or two.
As for creating an incredibly shiny, manageable and straight hairstyle with lots of body - this Chi is very efficient. I usually set the temperature at 180 although when I'm in a hurry I'll boost that to 200. As you use the flat iron the ceramic plates become conditioned and running the flat iron through your hair becomes an easier process as the Chi ages.
This particular model is designed to be used with one hand and it does work very well. My Baby Bliss was a two handed unit and it took me awhile to get use to the fact that with this unit only one hand is best.
Overall, I would purchase another one of these flat irons in a second. The downfall to them is their price. They can range in price anywhere from $150 upwards of $225+ and there are a lot of systems out there that aren't true Chi.
So far I've owned this Chi now for a few years and it still works flawlessly although it doesn't yet work as smoothly as my daughters does for her - she uses her flat iron daily and it's more efficiently conditioned than mine.
A few months ago while preparing for a wedding I happened to drop my Chi on the floor. It nicked a small section of the plate but so far it doesn't have any affect on the usability and still works great. I'm attached enough to my flat iron that I won't go anywhere without it and I certainly won't wash my hair, let it dry naturally and then just leave it. I like the look of nicely cared for hair and the shine and manageability that the Chi has given my hair has been excellent. There are no dry, frizzy or unhealthy looking ends -just sleek looking hair that looks very healthy.
I recommend the Chi to anyone who likes flat ironing their hair - but the cost is such that if you don't use it frequently enough, it could be a pricey little extra.
Update On Feb 27, 2010: Both my daughter and my Chi irons are still working perfectly! They are now about 4 years old and I have to say that paying extra money for some things is definitely worth it. My daughter uses her iron almost daily and until recently so have I. I even dropped mine on the floor and although a small bit of ceramic did crack the iron is still functioning perfectly.