The Simplex tea kettle factory is back in business! Someone named Newey and Bloomer (you just have to love England....) took over production in England — in time to provide a copper kettle as a wedding gift for William and Kate. You can order a chrome or copper model here.
After they stopped production suddenly, just about a year ago, the remaining U.S. stock slowly ran out. Since the winter, you could only find these kettles for crazy prices on eBay.
After realizing I loathed my deadly old Bodum kettle, doing my research, surveying the options, taking forever to make up my mind between kettles, and then a long, obsessive search, I finally got one of the last Simplexes from a Sur la Table store (in Michigan) in December. Since then I've lived happily ever after.
The original kettle for electric stoves is $149.95 and their gas model is $165.95. That seems like too much until you compare it with other kettles. Simplex kettles — at least the ones made between 1903 and 2010 — can last a lifetime if you don't abuse them, whereas inexpensive kettles tend to wear out in a few years. (Many expensive "designer" kettles have their nasty little issues, too....)
Shipping from England is $19.95. Let's hope they're as good as they always were.