Even beyond a serviceable platform that allows repairs, I believe the inherent attractiveness of a product is the greatest determiner of a person's long term commitment to an object. If something is ugly, durability and ability to repair won't matter, as people will be looking for an excuse to replace it. When an object is exquisite, we will protect the item from harm, accept flaws with age and seek repair rather than replacement. This dedication lengthens product life cycles.
Besides obvious environmental benefits, there are significant benefits to the individual owner. There are pragmatic issues like spending less time, money and aggravation replacing coffee pots/clock radios/paper shredders every two years, but there is an even more valuable benefit in buying beautiful objects - a life of elegance when you are surrounded by well-designed products that inspire.
Buy your first to be your last.
Conof Paper Shredder (via Apartment Therapy)
Other Practical Heirlooms on D+R:
Silca Bicycle Pump
Brass Garden Hose Nozzle