After a lot of research, including reading oodles of reviews about the various options available (including Vitamix and Blendtec), we decided to purchase a Blendtec Total Blender. The power, versatility and warranty were important factors.
After shopping around, I found the best deal through Costco.com. It included two jars -- unlike a lot of the deals I saw, which seemed to give me some versatility, I thought. After some family discussion, I ordered it on a Thursday. We were told it would take 3-5 business days to arrive, but Friday got a shipping notification that the new blender would arrive late Monday.
Friday afternoon, Youngest and I were walking through Costco, and -- guess what! -- a guy was demonstrating the same Blendtec blender we'd just ordered. Buying one at the demo would have cost us $50 less, but it appeared that the demo deal only included one jar, so I think we might have gotten the better deal.
The best part of the demo was seeing the Blendtec in action, listening to the guy's spiel, and tasting the results. We tasted tortilla soup, watched white rice ground into flour, and then watched (and tasted) homemade "ice cream" made with agave, avocado, spinach, and ice. It actually tasted pretty good! And no dairy! We could hardly wait for our own Blendtec to arrive.
...which it did, mysteriously, not long after noon on Monday. I wasn't expecting it until "late" as the tracking information said, but I went to let the dog out after lunch and there it was, sitting on the doorstep, silently promising great things to come. I wish I'd taken a picture of it sitting there, and the unpacking that followed. That UPS guy sure is sneaky -- even the hypervigilant Giant Schnoz didn't hear him come and go, and she's a dog that will bark at the clickety-click of another dog's toenails going by on the sidewalk outside, not to mention the squeak of brakes in front of the house when the UPS truck pulls up.
Of course we had to unpack it without delay, admiring all the way. True to character, I went immediately to reading the instructions, while Youngest went to immediately putting on her own product demo, though I insisted she wash the jars first. I say "jars" because of course she had to make two different things right away. You can read more about that here. Without even consulting the recipe book or instructions, the young teen whipped up a strawberry smoothie and created her own version of orange sorbet.
And so you have it. The beginning of, as a famous actor once said, a beautiful friendship.