(Brighton, CO USA)
I had wanted a stand mixer for as long as I can remember. I had purchased an inexpensive mixer with a bowl attached to it at a bargain retail store six years ago, and it lasted less than a year before the motor on the mixer burned out.
So last year when my mom sent me a professional series KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, I almost fell over. It is not only an efficient piece of machinery, it is beautiful as well. It is very heavy and durable, and mine is bright red, though it comes in a variety of other colors. It came with a wire whisk attachment, and a beater, as well as a dough hook. It also came with a book of recipes for the mixer.
I have heard a lot of people say over the years that they don't really use it, so it was a waste of money and a waste of space. However, I do not find this to be the case.
I use mine regularly--at least once a week, usually more. It is also a fixture on my countertop. While it does take up some valuable counter space, it is so good looking, and such a quality piece of cookware that I have no qualms showing it off as a permanent fixture on my countertop. It has ten speed settings for all mixing needs, and a powerful enough motor to pull through some of the largest batches of dough I can concoct. It is extremely versatile, and has a place for attachements for a meat grinder, ice cream maker, and I believe an attachment for cotton candy.
It is perfect for me and my family, and I don't know how I ever managed before I got my mixer. It retailed for around $400, and I would purchase it all over again if I had to. I have used it for things as small as mashed potatoes, and things as big as Christmas Cookies. It truly gets use all the time. The bowl is stainless steel, and is dishwasher safe, as is the beater attachment.
The wire whisk attachment is not dishwasher safe, and that is my chief complaint--I have to wash the whisk by hand. Other than that, I have no issues with my KitchenAid mixer, and I am so thankful my mom splurged on this gift for me. It is the perfect gift for me, and I doubt anybody will ever top it as far a Christmas gift!