1) their factory was close to me so I could go down and try out the various models to see which one would suit me best. Fit best as in I have a bad back and could I reach the bottom, compared shorter versus taller models and went with taller since I do smaller items and if larger tend to be taller not fat, think vase not tray.
2) since I could pick up the kiln myself I saved a lot on shipping
3) the group studio I am a member of has 2 of them and a lot of the potters also have small versions of them at home as well
4) it came in 3 stackable pieces with an electronic controller, set of furniture, kiln wash, vent, etc
5) price for me was what I could afford
I have fired mine about 15 times and so far I am very pleased with choosing an Olympic. Buying a kiln is a lot like buying a car you have to decide which features you absolutely must have, which would be nice and which ones you can live without or don't need. At times it can be like asking someone whether they would rather have a convertible Porsche or a convertible Volkswagen, I personally would choose the Volkswagen because they have character but a lot of people would choose the Porsche.
I went with the Olympic 1823
It goes to cone 10 but I only fire to cone 6 so should get more use out of the elements by not stressing them to the maximum temperature each time. The digital controller is a dream to use and very easy to adjust as I get better and fine tune my firing schedule
It was the largest I could easily wire into my house and yes I had an electrician wire a special outlet, independent circuit and shut off switch for the kiln. The shelves are big enough for the type items I make yet small enough not to pull my back as I bend over to place them in the kiln. It's small enough for me to fill easily without weeks and weeks of work sitting waiting to be fired. This is important because it helps me fire more frequently so I can learn what it is I am doing right, or wrong, so I can adjust and do better much more quickly.