Thanks everyone for your input. I'm back to being confused, again - but that's a good thing: it's wonderful to have a choice to make. It looks like I'll have :D :D to make a road trip to Norwich Vermont, to test drive both at King Arthur. Bookstores in Hanover, driving along the Connecticut River, darn! I used to live near there, too.
Kokopuffs, I think I do want a bigger mixer. I just career switched to pastry chef (long hours, low pay - and something I thoroughly love) and I've made wedding cakes for friends. Only being able to made 8 egg white batches of Italian meringue in my little KitchenAid turns butter cream production into - not a death march, but something very wearing.
And, my little Kitchen Aid came close to croaking on the cake for my (unemployed) best friend's daughter's wedding. When it's time to move on up, you just know! Kokopuffs, it's good to hear that DeLonghi is only the distributor - Alexia, when you said "since the 60's" about your KA There are so many threads on baking groups about the decline in quality of KA's after the manufacturers changed. If you have an older model - hold on to it, you're one of the lucky ones!
And I've always rbeen a fan of KyleW's - it was his note on the KA board that led me first to cheftalk! So I repect his opinions - and now that I work in pastry, truly appreciate that fine line between hobby and bonkers ;)