Update on this, I bought the Hoover Whisper on Taobao for 600rmb, which as I asked for 220v pretty please with sugar on... comes from UK (has the UK/HK Style big plug).
Works well. Seems to suck quite a lot (of stuff off the carpet). Considering my last 3 died due to construction worker abuse, I'll see how this one fairs.
Looks to be this model here - http://www.hoover.co.uk/Product.aspx?Product=379
(which seems to be the same (or similar enough to the Whisper in .US)
Its the same tech as the older dyson models as stated above (this is corroborated in enough other vacuum forums). Given the price, I'm happy. Only double what my last one cost, and this one looks far more pimp
Next on the agenda, a coffee machine for the office (probably a nespresso)!