We have pulled up all of the carpet in our house and put down Pergo everywhere except the bathrooms. We love it. Two dogs (50+ lbs. each) and a 6 year old can’t touch it. The only times we have managed to damage the floor were by dropping heavy objects (the iron, and a cast-iron skillet). We did also manage to put a few scratches in the family room by repeatedly sliding an old sofa with metal feet across it, but the rest of the furniture (with wood or plastic feet) is no problem.
My only real complaint is that it has become rather loud in the house. You don’t realize how much sound is dampened by wall-to-wall carpet until you don’t have any. But we are starting to put area rugs down in strategic places, which solves the problem, and looks nice to boot.
Installation is not a problem if you have any sort of mechanical aptitude at all. When we started, all they had was the original Pergo which requires separate underlayment and flooring, and must be glued together. Now they have the style with attached underlayment which snaps together. I did our living room (11’ x 14’) in about 4 hours last fall suing the “new” style. We also have a slab foundation; you just need to put a vapor barrier (a thick roll of plastic sheeting) between the floor and the foundation.
I can’t say enough good things about our flooring, and wholeheartedly recommend it. Go for it, and do it yourself. I don’t know how much installation would cost, because we never considered having it done, but there is no reason you can’t do it yourself and save whatever the cost would be.