Summary: This blender works very well. I make smoothies at least 3 times a week and if you put the wet ingredients in first, then the frozen, the smoothies come out blended very nicely. Yes, it's powerful, BUT, it is absolutely true that the teeth on the blade break off. I've had this blender for about 18 months and I am now on my third replacement blade. At about $15 a pop, this blender is becoming exceedingly expensive.
Summary: I don't know who to be more disappointed in. Consumer Reports for placing this on their short list of best blenders or Braun for making plastic gears which have broken on a very nice product after only 4 months. As other have stated, I will not be purchasing Braun appliances in the future and will cancel my membership to this leading consumer research org.