The Waring bb 180 is a commercial blender that has enough torque and power to do a good job of just about anything. A bb180 with a plastic jar sells for less than $65. For another $10, you can move up from regular switches to (pointless) membrane switches (bb185). They have have three speeds ("Slow," "Fast," and the ever-popular "Off"), and (OMG!) a pulse button. They are very much commercial blenders and butt ugly in the way commercial products were before appliance companies figured out that "commercial" was a selling point.
Waring also makes a version of the same blender with a stainless base, the 190 series, which might suit your decor better. They run $150ish, and don't do anything better or different other than gleam attractively.
As far as I know, there's nothing less expensive than the 180 series with the torque to make an adequate "frozen" daiquiri or margarita. That is, it's got enough oomph to make snow instead of lumpy slush. Consequently, it's a sort of base line minimum; and, as it happens, is the blender we own, use and love. As you'd expect from anything so ugly, it's also quite durable.
If you need more blender, you're doing things like grinding grain and making 6 smoothies at a time. Then you need a big-deal commercial like a Vita Mix (not the only brand, by the way) and will end up spending more than your stated budget.
In terms of performance, there's really not much in between.
There are a couple of reviews of the bb180 here at Chef Talk.