My daughter has always loved cooking-product "shows." When she was 3, the VitaMix tape kept her hooked for hours. It comes as no surprise, then, that she wants a magic-rocket-capsule Super Choppery thing now.
Here in Beijing I used to whirrrrr through a blender/chopper about once a year. The local brands cost about ¥200 (2010 math = $30) and include a blender, 1cup chopping bowl with blade, 2.5 cup chopping bowl with blade, and a juice-separator sieve blender insert. The 4 or 5 "nubs" on the bottom of each piece that interlock with the main base are always plastic-- and they wear down, which is the typical reason I had to replace mine. Of course, I also blew a motor or two. However, I wouldn't mind finding something similar in the US.
About 3 years ago, I bought a Braun stick blender that came with a 3 cup bowl/removable blade. The connector mechanism for the stick attachments broke after about a year (so, no more immersion blending or whipping) but I've continued to whirrrrr cheese and Panko and everything else. I wouldn't mind finding something similar to this, either.
In The States, my mom bought a heavy BaMix in the late 70's (probably still in the basement) and I inherited a super-sturdy Oster Lil Oskar from my grandmother in the late 80's which I used until moving to Asia in 2000. Predictably, finding something similar would also be okay.
Now that my daughter’s a newlywed college student in Seattle (with a wonderful hubby who’d like grind-it-fresh coffee), I can't just send one from here and let them grind Seattle's Favourite until those “nubs” no longer meet, as these products are made for voltages incompatible with the US.
SO – as I’ve been investigating “from afar” all the possible blend and whirr choices, this is what I keep seeing –> everything new is so LightWeight and cheaply made, yet still expensive! The Infomercial choppers are well over $100 once shipping and accessories are purchased. The sturdy versions of reputable brands seem to be the same or more.
Long question short—if I want to give them something that will last, with a budget of only about $100US, do I go back to basics and buy an Oskar on eBay or, if I want something new, what should it be?