We burn through blenders within a year or two, including a $150 Ninja among others. Looking at higher-end, long-warranty blenders, there are really only two choices in the USA today: Blendtec & Vita-mix. We ended up buying a Blendtec. Here's why.
* "Will It Blend" videos. Duh. Huge appeal for that reason alone.
* Broad base, easy to clean.
* Dishwasher-safe jar (Vita-mix specifically says it's not dishwasher-safe)
* Blendtec is in Utah and I used to fly my model helicopter across the street from them in Orem. It's how I first heard about them, asking a heli-buddy, "Hey, there's a blender company in Utah? Who knew!"
* Blade will never dull 'cuz it's already dull. Vita-mix stuff you have to send in for a replacement set every so often, or get blades sharpened.
* Tom Dickson is a blending god.
* Blendtec makes hot soups a little faster than a Vita-mix due to the more-powerful motor. From where I sit, the difference isn't huge, but hey, it's there.
* Dull blade means no more cutting my fingers cleaning the thing. Of course, both companies recommend you not bother scraping; just run the blender with some warm water and a drop of dish soap, and it cleans itself.
* Blending glowsticks.
* One-piece construction of the jar, no taking it apart for the dishwasher.
* 90-ounce jar. Doesn't come bigger than that. With a family of six, that's important: I can do eight 8-ounce smoothies in one go.
* Short jar. Fits under the counter. I understand Vita-mix now offers a "compact" model with the same feature.
* No plunger required.
* Nine seconds to make nut butters with the Twister jar, compared to several minutes in the Vita-mix and Blendtec standard jars. We have the Wild Side; Twister's on my to-buy list!
* Eight year warranty. I realize that Vita-mix also offers an 8-year warranty on some of its models, but damn. If you figure we spend $50 a year on blenders -- on average, given how frequently we burn them up -- we're saving money.
* It can blend a freaking iPhone and keep coming back for more.
* Programmed, set-it-and-forget-it buttons on the "cheap" model (you have to buy the highest-end Vita-mix for this feature)
So far we've used it to create a bunch of smoothies. We'll see how much we like it years from now!