Update October 2013: I'm typing this while on live chat with KitchenAid... this morning the blender "jar coupler is fused into the couple on the motor base" or simply stated - it's stuck. Really stuck, like the base suddenly welded itself to the bowl.
Recommend this product?
Seriously after a 45 second whiz smoothie, the base just decided this was the day to stick together. The troubleshooting tips of jiggling and tugging are laughable, I mean come on now, I could take a hammer to it and it would still be merged. This thing is just not coming off.
Useful info from chat: It can happen if the jar is not seated properly on the base, if you run the unit for 3-5 minutes or if you pour hot liquid into the jar.
To be fair - I have used the blender to smooth lumps in gravy before with no issue because I was careful about volume and temperature. I guess this blender is only meant for cold. Would have been good to know that upfront.
Nothing against live chat, I felt like they were looking to make the customer think they did something wrong - she kept going down the list until she hit on my 'oh' moment. Anyway...
The repair kit is $25 and a lot of wishful thinking -the initial repair has to be done up through the base to remove the bowl. JMHO Would you really trust an inexperienced person to do this and feel okay plugging it in - leaving it plugged in? Live Chat made no promise the repair kit would work, they cannot offer technical advice outside of jiggling and tugging. lol - what industry is this again?
The repair quote came in at $75 not including any unforeseen problems. I can buy a new blender for that. KitchenAid knew this could happen, even said so in the chat - fixing the issue before selling the product to consumers doesn't seem to be high on the priority list.
Oh well, we had a good 4 years. Original review below, it was a good run while it lasted. Good luck!
I'm just going to say I love this thing. Looks good and the 5 speeds are enough for everyday use. I particularly like the whir as it grinds it's way to smoothie heaven in a nano-second. The deep pitcher is more than enough to get 3-4 drinks in too. I make healthy smoothies for the kids quickly with no need to chop small. You can pretty much throw the whole strawberries, banana & ice in, click the button and about 10 seconds later you've got a killer smoothie.
To be fair it's a little noisy, but no noisier than others I've owned. It's not as if taking a solid object to liquid form just happens without any interference. It is really fast and the pitcher has no leaks is easy to clean with a straight to rinse/dishwasher routine.
What I like the most though is in 10 seconds I'm able to go from solid to liquid, or solid to grate or chop. This is a no brainer machine, uncomplicated and easy to use/clean. Doesn't hurt that it looks good on the counter and seems designed for family use/abuse. Mostly it's a survivor - we've owned the same blender for 2 years now and it looks/works great. It's a keeper.
Amount Paid (US$): 89