So at the time that I purchased the Cuisinart Smooth Operator SMO-56-2 Speed Blender it was on sale and I thought I got a pretty good deal. The smoothies and protein shakes (the main reason I wanted to purchase a blender) came out good as long as I didn't use to much frozen stuff; maybe 1 or 2 ice cubes or frozen fruit; and even then it was a bit granulated. So my recommendation would be to stick with chilled liquids if you want a cold smoothie or something. As far as overall usage, I would say it lasted me a few months with varied usage. Probably used it 4 - 5 days a week for the first 2 weeks and then once a month for a while until I couldn't. Gradually it operated so vigorously that some of the plastic parts came off, which also made it louder (sorry to my sleep in neighbors) and there was some leaking. After that never really worked right and couldn't/ didn't want to use it because it got kind of gross from all the rushed cleanings.