A good indorsement for them when I got one years ago was the number of cooking shows that used one and other cooks I knew who had one and would not buy any other brand. Go to a good store that deals with items for people who cook and not just a department or big box store. They'll actually know what the heck they're doing and be able to tell you about which one is best for your needs. Pick their brains since the costs add up quickly depending on model and what you get with it. Be sure to play with one before you buy it and be sure to look at the attachments. Be sure that all the attachments you want will work on the model you're considering (OOOooo, there's just too much that could go wrong with that phrase, isn't there?). They are workhorses and should last a long time if you get the best size for what you need. Be smart about the attachments since the cost adds up. Something like the ice cream maker might sould neat but what if you only use it once every 5 years? Do you really want to make pasta? And so on. Most models will use all or most of the attachments so you do not need to buy them all at once. Not sure about them now but even the really old models would use the newer attachments. They do not always clean the side of the bowl without scraping for some recipes so be sure that you can get into the bowl with it still attached to the mixer. Not a big deal scraping a bowl... unless you have to take the machine apart to do it. Shouldn't be a problem with them but it's good to be certain. Good extras to get are bowl shields -- they keep stuff from getting all over the counter top. Also having a second bowl makes some situations a lot easier (do you throw parties or cook for a large family?). Most will make bread dough but like with any mixer if it starts to slow up under load, slow down or cut back on the size of the batch. Not doing that gets expensive. I miss mine (the wife got took it. She thought it was a waste of money when I bought it -- "Why can't you just use a hand mixer?" Unfortunately she found out the difference). BTW, they used to come with a recipe book that had an "english muffin loaf" bread. If you can find the recipe it's mighty tasty. Makes two loaves and it only rises once so ya don't have to mess around with it. A two loaf batch didn't last for more than a day.