I was just about to start a blender thread in the Fine Living forum. There is a multi-page thread discussing the finer points of $13k commercial refridgerators, so I figure they might know about blenders as well. Ive had this blender since late 2005: http://www.amazon.com/Decker-BL3900-.../dp/B0014CQAM0
Pros: It looks decent on the counter, and the motor is sufficiently strong to crush ice. Its also pretty cheap. Cons: The design of the pitcher creates a big air bubble or empty space around the blades, so you end up having to add more liquid than you may need/want in order to get everything blended. There is also a design flaw with the glass pitcher in that the plastic base will not screw on correctly, so there is a minor leak. For the past year or so the motor has made a buzzing sound whenever it is plugged in. Im waiting for it to croak before I buy anything else. The problem with blenders (based on reviews Ive read while casually browsing sites looking for a new one) is that all the steezy and powerful blenders that look good on the counter and can crush diamonds are unreliable as hell. Waring Pro, Viking, and L equip all seem to have this problem. I think BlendTec's have good reliability, but fuck if Im spending that much on a blender. Then you have the lower range blenders like Osters that dont ever die, but are ugly, boring, and cant mix applesauce. I think KitchenAids are a good compromise. Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CSNVE2/...SIN=B000CSNVE2
But I know fuckall about blenders. Hopefully someone else can chime in.