Why did I wait so long before buying this, I will never know. In the past month we have purchased and returned two Black and Decker blenders that just stopped working. So we bought a Vitamix Total Nutrition Center (a version of the 5100) and it is wonderful. Makes the creamiest smoothies and I look forward to grinding our own whole grain flours and making soups right in the Vitamix. I love the self-cleaning aspect also. It seems expensive until you realize it replaces a blender, juicer, food processor, grinder, and you eliminate kneading and chopping from your kitchen tasks. We had it three days after we ordered and they charged no shipping and added an 8th year to the warranty.
Looking forward to no mess Margaritas and Peach Ice Cream this summer.