Please let it be known that Vita-mix is the best kitchen appliance - bar none!
There is really nothing to compare it too.
There is a catch though. The 4000 model is at least 14 to 15 years old and just does not perform like the newer 5000 model. The 4000 is a 1 hp motor where the 5000 is 2.1 peak motor hp. Not to mention, the 5000 makes 1/2 the noise of the 4000. The 4000 sounds like an airplane is flying though your home. If you have a newborn, you do not want a 4000. We made all of our baby food in our Vita-mix. I have twins that will be 4 in Feb. They are faster, taller, and I feel more intelligent than some of their classmates. I am not bragging but I just see it. My kids have the normal finicky attitude over some foods but there is not one day that they have ever turned down a delicious smoothie, never. By the way, the 5000 will liquify the seeds of almost any and all fruits and vegetable yielding an extreme does of phyto-nutrients, whereas the 4000 will not.
I hope that I have just saved yourself a couple of 100 bucks. Find a 5000 somewhere. They usually sell for like 3 to 400 and it will be well worth it.
I am sure that some people will just think a blender is a blender but this is just not the case. There are several blenders on the market, but then again, a Vita-mix is more of a Whole Food Processor. It is more of a multi-tool. I have used every blender like tool and there is absolutely nothing that can chop, dice, mince, crush, puree, homogenize, or perform bio-available feats like this machine. When I have ever seen a negative response from anyone online, I know right away that these people do not understand what they have and how to use it. No offense, it is just reality. What I am ultimately talking about - recipes. If you do not like what you make in a Vita-mix then you are not going to like a Vita-mix. If you do decide to get a Vita-mix 5000 it comes with a pretty good cookbook and video. When you get ready for more exotic recipes like we prefer, then there is a site called www.vitamixrecipes.com
and they can really provided insight on how to use my machine more, and better. And because I am using it more than ever, I am really getting good at it! I only wished I knew about that site earlier. I think the site is kind of new but they have hit the nail on the head on this one. I do not know if it is okay to mention another site here and I apologize if so. I just bet there are 1000's of people just like me that have a Vita-mix just sitting there collecting dust. Never again will that person be me!
By the way, the site has a membership fee of 24.99/year, and that includes unlimited downloads. I used promo code "Vitanow" and it knocks off 5 bucks to 19.99/year. I just tried the code and it still works.
Thanks and have a good year!