I tend to buy refurb when possible also, especially if it saves me a chunk of money.
I look at it this way:
If someone returned it, usually it is one of two things
1. They were too stupid to operate it and thought it didn't work
2. It had a problem and was fixed after it was returned
Case in point, I bought a refurb bread maker, someone returned because it "wouldn't work". I have used it for 15 years since without an issue and made 100s of loaves of bread. Most likely they didn't follow directions to use it or tried to take shortcuts.
I think this happens much more often with high end equipment, as people tend to get confused on functions and abilities. Instead of figuring it out, they give up and return it as defective.
But, Sometimes you ,may get a product that has been fixed, however if that happens, consider this,
In either case, someone at the manufacter (usually) has pulled it and checked every function to make sure it works and that there are no dents, bangs and dings, before they repackage it and send it out as "refurbished"
I have had less issues with refurbs than with new equipment.