Thanks dropscone! I started that thread in 2012, and I think that technology has come a long way since then.
I bought 2 slowcookers and loved them back then, but I just got an Instant Pot and I think it's all the rage, if you can afford one (mine was about $80 on the Black Friday special Amazon did, but they're over $100 regularly). They have 7 different functions, and it's nice to be able to use a pressure cooker and a slow cooker in the same machine, so you can pressure cook your beans and then slow cook them in a stew. It has a saute feature (you can use it as a frying pan with the lid off to brown food), timers, some are Bluetooth enabled so you can turn them on using your headset, etc. They're fancy! Here is a vegan IPot group that can answer more questions if you're interested. https://www.facebook.com/groups/InstantPotVeganRecipes/
I think a lot comes down to what kind of functionality you're looking for, and price point. I got my slowcookers really cheap - 1 at a garage sale for $10 and a mini one at Target for $11.99. Neither has the saute feature, but I don't personally find that browning or sauteeing ingredients before slow cooking is all that helpful to the flavor. What I loved is that you can turn it on and just be gone all day and come home to great food. Mine doesn't have a timer, which hasn't bothered me, but some do which means you can put the ingredients in at 8 am and have your machine go on at noon and have hot, perfect food at 6 or 7, without worrying about overcooking your food. I just kind of cook it until I come home but I'm never out for longer than 6 hours or so (I'm home with my kiddo). I love my slowcookers for how incredibly simple they are - throw all your ingredients in in the morning (I'd do that while making breakfast) and then have awesome food later that day (we'd do lunch at 1 and then leftovers for dinner). The flavors are so great. Also, in the summer they're amazing because you never have to heat up your house - we are experts in slow-cooker pizza, which is so delicious!
I really love Fresh from the Vegan Slowcooker - the flavors in her recipes are amazing. http://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Vegan-Slow- ... 1558327908