Just an FYI - I was in Costco yesterday (on Eubank) and the Vitamix demo dude was there, coverting the masses to the glories of 1380 watts of blending mania.
I already have one, but I know that the deal they run through Costco is about as cheap as you'll get a new one - $369 w/ dry container/blade included. (Older models are always available on eBay for around 200)
If you don't hear the Vitamix gospel, this message might be lost on you. :-)