Pros: A great machine for kneading bread dough and mixing double batches of cookies
Cons: Although it will do it well, this is lots of firepower for beating 2 eggs.
I got a refurbished Epicurean from Kitchen Aid via E-Bay auction. This was an indulgent birthday present to myself, but now I'm kicking myself for not having done this years earlier. It whips through tasks like beating egg whites, and a double batch of oatmeal cookies was starting to go in the oven 5 minutes after I started assembling the ingredients. Mixing by hand, as I've always done, would have taken at least 3 times as long.
But the real beauty of this machine in my eyes is what it does with bread dough. A double batch of rye bread? It was kneaded so perfectly that it came out with the best crumb of any loaf of bread I've ever baked. Ten minutes and no dough sticking to my hands, my counter, etc. A few years ago my brother gave me "Baking with Julia," and I tried one of its recipes, a yeast pumpkin bread with a brioche-like texture. It was so sticky and hard to handle I didn't think I'd ever do it again. With this machine, a double batch was a snap.
If this machine has any drawback, it's the size - I feel silly using it to beat a couple of eggs. Also it is a little noisy (but certainly no worse than a food processor) and it takes up a lot of space. But it's so useful that I don't begrudge the space. Thank you, Kitchen Aid, this is a wonderful machine!