For our wedding almost nine years ago, we received enough gift cards and duplicate presents to purchase our KitchenAid mixer. Matt thought it was sort of silly to spend all that money on an appliance, but he sure stopped fussing about it when I made him cookies and cakes using it! The mixer has made it through several moves, 5 wedding cakes, endless birthday and shower cakes, dozens of batches of cookies, and many, many more delicious desserts. I love my mixer and love that I can be creaming butter and sugar together while I gather ingredients for my next step. I work this mixer hard and as such, the first three settings on the mixer are getting a little hard to use. The first setting doesn't work at all and the second and third definitely protest as I move through them trying to slowly incorporate flour or sugar into whatever I am making. The rest of the settings still work great however so I am having a hard time justifying buying a new one. I definitely covet a shiny new red mixer, but the old one works so well. It will also be hard to let this one go when it is time because it was very exciting for us to get to buy one of the big items we wanted of our registry all of those years ago.
After having my mixer for this many years, I would definitely be hard pressed to go without for a long period of time. I think when I do get a new mixer I would definitely get an extra bowl and an extra paddle for cakes and other recipes that would benefit from mixing or beating separately. We got one of the larger motor, larger bowl, lift style mixers originally, but I would probably switch to the smaller standard size next time around so it can fit easier under a cabinet or on the counter top. The mixer can be hard to clean, especially when flour flies everywhere from being mixed at to hight of a speed (since the first three speeds are pretty much dead) and the bottom of the bowl needs to be scraped frequently as the paddle doesn't reach the bottom (a design flaw that I believe was corrected in the smaller models). I think it is a great machine to have lasted this long with how hard I use it and highly recommend this brand to anyone looking for a mixer. There are cheaper mixers out there, but few have this kind of power and durability.