Especially for measuring instrument and rod heights and offsets, I am searching for a high quality tape measure that will readily retract and will withstand being beat on (don't go crazy...I already know that they will all fail if abused). Currently, I am using a combo inches/tenths Dewalt from Home Depot. Has worked pretty well thus far. I've purchased Lufkin's, Komelean's, etc. and they just seem to fail within days of use.
I don't need a lesson on care of use, I am just asking: What brand/model/length is your favorite and why?