This is the very first blender I ever owned. It is a red, Hamilton Beach blender. My mother got it for me and I was very grateful. It costs around $20 to buy one yourself. This is your typical, inexpensive blender that is good for chopping up food, and other easy to chop items. If you want a yummy beverage with ice in it however, it will make you rage. Or, it makes me rage because I hate my drink to have chunks of ice in them. So, I donated this blender to my lab at ULL. It is great for making amphipod food.
This is the holy grail of all blenders. Do you blend every day? Do you blend multiple times a day? Do you frequently have company over and blend for multiple guests? Do you also have at least $350 to spend on one kitchen appliance? Then by all means purchase this Vitamix blender. It will last forever, it has a great warranty. It works magnificently. I make $16,000 a year as a student. I cannot afford this blender. I dream of those days when I have a big girl job. Then, maybe then, I can have this blender.
This is a Breville blender. It runs around $150 dollars. I went to E's Kitchen (which is an AWESOME, local, kitchen gadget store) and the owner (who is also super nice and awesome) decided to let us try this out. He blended some orange juice and some ice. It did an okay job but there were still tiny chunks of ice in it. I was willing to compromise because they weren't terrible although I still wasn't sold completely. This is a pretty good blender. It is not fantastic-it is pretty good.
This is the Ninja professional. Between coupons/sales, etc. you can get this blender at Kohl's for approximately $130. I read the reviews comparing the Ninja and the Vitamix. They discussed the fact that the Ninja doesn't have as good of a warranty. They discussed how the Ninja is made in China, plastic parts, blah blah blah. This awesome blender also has single serve cups which are really cool. Anyway, I don't use this blender 1000 times a day nor do I need a blender for that so this is the blender I have. It is absolutely AMAZING. There are no ice chunks. It is freaking awesome! Now, it may not last as long as the Vitamix would and it doesn't have a lifetime warranty but it ALSO ISN'T $400. Want a blender for occasional use to make yummy smoothies-go with this one. It rocks.