Pros: Powerful, rugged
Cons: B*tt Ugly
I took a long time, but I finally left this ugly beast out on my countertop. I bought it after going through 7 blenders in 3 years. I seem to be tough on them. This one has lasted nearly 10 years now, with almost daily use, making smoothies, blending pureed hot soup and other common tasks. I've also used it to chop up nuts to a smooth cream, making nut mayo. Speaking of mayo - a snap in this thing.
Only two speeds, but how many of those speeds do you use? I start low on mayo, but everything else is done at high speed. If you want long lasting quality, you'll want this one. If you want pretty, you want anything but. The price approximate, I seem to remember it was about twice the price of a "regular" blender.