Vitamix is the way to go. It's awesome for smoothies, purees, soups, etc. The other blenders simply don't compare, IMHO. There costumer service is great - I accidentally damaged the plunger the other day, called up costumer service and they sent a new one out for FREE. It showed up in 2 days and I was back in business.
I love the variable speed control - gives the user a lot of control to make sure you aren't splashing the contents all over or out of the container. It also lets you control the consistency of the blend.
Of course the downside is the price tag. But I would rather pay more for one piece of equipment that will last 10, 20 30 years than end up throwing lesser models in the landfill every couple years. That being said, I shouldn't complain - I found a 5000 in thrift store for $8! All it needed was a good wash and a new drivehead for $15.
Anyone know a good place to buy high-quality espresso tampers in the Bay Area (especially in the E. Bay)? Sur la Table sells a cheap one, but there has to be a place that sells Reg Barber and other good brands.
I know I can get them online, but I'd like to compare the feel and make sure there is a tight fit in my portafilter.