Immersion Blender for Christmas: Which Brand/Model?

My wife has been asking for an immersion blender for years. I have been dragging my feet, because every one I have owned or known someone else to own has died within six months. I have looked at the reviews of dozens of immersion blenders and constantly the reviews rate the product as the best thing since fire, until they have owned it for six months and the plastic gears are shredded. I imagine some of this is due to how people use or abuse their immersion blenders, but I must ask -- What is a good immersion blender that will last for several years? Or at least a good brand name?

I am currently leaning toward a KitchenAid Immersion Blender, but if anyone has a specific model or brand they would recommend instead that would be great. A model that uses real metal gears (or hard plastic), has a removable and cleanable shaft and blade assembly, and possibly has a small variety of attachments (I like the idea of the whisk attachment in addition to the blade attachment), would be ideal.

Thanks! I am hoping to buy this in the next couple days, unless I can find it locally, so all tips welcome.


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