Summary: Had this for about 18 months. Powerful, handy, easy clean-up. Loved it. But last night while blending a smoothie, I noticed the blade wasn't spinning and friction at the mid-point (where motor section & blending tip come together) caused so much heat that I smelled burning plastic and the motor will no longer turn the blade. Time to talk to Cuisinart.
Summary: I use this for making smoothies. It's not as powerful as the 550W Wolfgang Puck models, but you can't buy replacement blending rods for them anymore, and you can easily get spare parts for the cuisinart, so here I am.
Pros: I had one of these for 6 years before it gave up the ghost. Used it on a daily basis from simple mixing up of vitamin drinks and shakes to batters, creaming butter and sugar, soups and the like. So those plastic gears hold up pretty well. It's not a $400 mixer where it matters if the gears are plastic. 6+ years is plenty of time to get out of a $65 appliance (which is what I found it for at BB&B). I bought it again to replace the old one.
Cons: Faster to chop stuff with a knife than with the chopper attachment because you have to do such small batches to get consistent results.