Several weeks ago now we bought a The Magic Bullet Countertop Magician which is an amazing take on the blender. I saw the ad on TV and was worried that when I bought it I would be disappointed, after all few things work as good at home as they do on TV. However, the blender arrived and we tried making a smoothie with it. This blender has individual cups so we all had different smoothies. It was wonderful. It is easy to use, fairly easy to clean (especially if done right away), and can be used for a huge variety of things.
I have used it to mix instead of a mixer or beater. We use it to grind coffee beads regularly. We also enjoy a lot of smoothies, milk shakes, and margaritias.
The only down side to the whole thing is that with all of it's parts it takes up a lot of storage space which was a pain living in an apartment with a kitchenett instead of a kitchen. However, it has been worth it. All those parts make it fantastic for making drinks and even for using it for a wide variety of things while making dinner!