Our first generator was a econo-sized 1200 Watt generator picked up on sale. Not particularly powerful (enough to keep the fridge cold or the furnace blower going, but only ONE job at a time). It does require a gas-oil mix, and was occasionally a bit of a pain to start.
It really seemed to be our good luck that we simply had never had a real power failure of sufficient duration to warrant using the generator. That said I had concerns about the ability of this little generator to carry the load of our fridge (bigger than the fridge we had when we bought the generator), and had my eyes open for an upgrade.
I recently stumbled across the Champion 3000W Generator on sale at Canadian Tire for $350 (usually on for $599). The generator has generally favourable reviews and should provide more than enough capacity for our needs.
I’m hoping to test the generator soon, for now we have both in case of trouble.