The Cadillac of blenders, the mighty Vitamix, is still the champ - but it can be quite expensive. If you can afford it, I recommend it, or they offer certified reconditioned blenders at a great price! I also happen to love the Breville series (they also offer remanufactured products here). Plus, the coveted Blendtec series, especially the refurbished Classic model. I've tried a number of low cost alternatives and right now the Oster Versa is a great alternative to the more expensive version, about 90% as good but about 50% the price. Whatever you do, don't settle for lower quality or you'll soon discover the frustration of blenders that don't blend!