If you do serious blending, consider getting a serious blender.
The latest version of the Vita-Mix blender - long a reliable workhorse of professional kitchens - makes several nice improvements over the previous model, including a better cover for the carafe and a more comfortable handle.
Other improvements include a quieter and cooler-running 2-horsepower motor. As with previous models, the Vita-Mix runs fast enough to heat liquid contents of the blender to around 200 degrees and can grind grains into flour.
At $449, the Vita-Mix Super 5200 is an investment, but the machines are rugged and tend to last. If you have an older model, the 5200 probably isn't worth an upgrade. But if you do plenty of blending, it is worth a look. The Vita-Mix Super 5200 is available for $449 at www.vitamix.com.