For several years I had a Brita pitcher. I got it on sale at Walgreens and at first I liked it, but as time went on, the thing became more and more annoying. It was round, had no cover over the spout and the filters tended to regurgitate pieces of coal into the top reservoir. Looking at Amazon, Brita got their act together and are now making slender pitchers with covered spouts. However, the filters still look the same.
A month ago, I finally got rid of my Brita pitcher and started looking for something better. What I ended up buying was a PUR 18 Cup Dispenser. Ergonomically, this thing is great. It holds 1.125 gallons and is only 5.5" wide (9.75" high and 15" deep). Brita's offering, on the other hand, holds 1.13 gallons and is a whole 9" wide (7.25" high and 14" deep)! I don't know about others, but I don't have room in my fridge for this misshapen monstrosity.
PUR filters, while I'm not qualified to compare effectiveness, are, externally, better designed and better looking than Brita's. While Brita's pale filters dispensed coal, PUR's sexy, blue filters are open only at the very top, keeping the coal from floating out. This more enclosed design, however, in no way hampers the flow of water and no water is left in the top reservoir.
My PUR dispenser stands in the corner of the top shelf of my fridge. It doesn't take up a lot of space and is easy for kids to use. And being in the fridge, keeps the filtered water nice and cold. The only minus is that you can't really put it on the table. Then again, same goes for Brita.
Does PUR filtered water taste better than Brita's? Don't remember. And, living in NYC and supposedly having very high quality tap water, I don't know how well it gets rid of sliminess and whatever other weird qualities of water all you people to the west seem to have.
If you're looking for a filter which won't take up a lot of space in your fridge, and which can hold over a gallon of water, PUR 18 Cup Dispenser is for you.