yeah I can answer your question. I just received mine from amazon about a wek or so ago. I was a amazon vote winner. I contacted Kitchenaid, and they told me my mixer was made in August of this year. All mixers made after april of 2007 have metal gearboxes. Read my review.
This link to Kitchenaids' web site should get you the right rebate for the Pro 600:
By the way, has anyone gotten a packing slip with theirs? Mine did not come with one (and was, I presume, drop shipped direct from Kitchenaid). What are folks using as their proof of purchase in lieu of a register receipt or packing slip? A printed copy of their Amazon invoice?
It is just the classic Amazon pricing crap shoot really. The $50 rebate on the Pro600 ends December 31st as I recall, so you need to factor that in. If you can wait until after Christmas, it might go on sale again, or they may do something Christmas Eve or at any point betwixt now and the 31st. Or, possibly, if the marketing managers' cat coughs up a furball it may go on supersale (Amazon pricing changes seem to be one of lifes' little mysteries). I *would* definitely add it to your cart and keep checking at least once a day to find out if the price has changed. I would also check *all* the color variations because they can reduce the price on a particular color and not the others. For example, the meringue (off-white) has been priced the best most recently (though not today it seems) at around $299, prior to that both meringue and licorice (black) were on sale, but when licorice ran out and then came back in stock, the price increased. Right at this moment, the pearl metallic color is the least expensive at $356.08 (it's kind of a brushed aluminum color). If it were me, and I was unconstrained by a time factor, I would probably wait for at least a $299 pricing, since it has been that so often lately (but I would also be sure to order prior to the 31st so as not to lose out on the rebate). There is also (you'd want to check the rebate date, but I think it's still in effect) a rebate going of 25% off on a lot of the accessories.
Interestingly, I just checked the price on meringue, and noticed that over to the right under "More buying choices" it still lists the Pro 600 meringue for $299 from Amazon as "not in stock", but says "order now and we'll deliver when available". Of course whether that will happen before the $50 rebate expires is an unknown. I was able to add it to my cart, so it looks like you can (unless they cancel it later) backorder at the $299 price with free super saver shipping.
Consumer fraud?? Complain? Really? I'm surprised by your comment because I happen to absolutely LOVE this about Amazon! I mean, what's so bad about the price fluctuating?
Amazon's fluctuating prices have allowed me to catch some really fabulous deals! My theory is the constant price changes have something to do with a supply and demand formula. But whatever it is (formula, randomness, inventory?) that allows Amazon to get prices so low so often, I'm pretty happy with it!
Here's my suggestion. When I'm researching larger purchases, I do what you described -- research different brands and models and go back and forth over them -- and in the process I see prices changing all the time. After a week or so (but the longer the better) you can get an idea of how much an item's price fluctuates, helping you decide the best time to buy. That'll usually be when the price is the lowest it'll probably go!
I've used this method countless times with great success. It's not even time consuming because I just mentally note the prices as I'm researching specs and reviews and such. It sounds like you've already done this and have an idea of how the prices are changing. So I'd say choose a mixer without considering the price, then watch until the price is really great on that model and snatch it up!
And speaking of the mixers, did you decide on one yet? I'm currently in the research phase myself, and find I'm leaning toward the Pro 600. I'm not really digging the Cuisinart, but I've never actually used it. I've used both KitchenAids a few times and like them both. I like the 600 because of the larger capacity and more power for bread doughs (plus the better bread hook!), and I've come to prefer the bowl lift over the tilt head. So I think now I just need to pick a color and watch for the right price!
Folks, Let me put everyones mind at ease about this metal or plastic transmission housing issue in the pro 600 mixers. First, let me start by telling you that I have 3 kitchenaid mixers, a 275 watt, a 300 watt, and I have a pro 600 comming monday. All of these mixers I bought for less than $100.00 each because they needed to be repaired, the first one I repaired in about 5 min at no cost, the second one was tougher, It took about twenty minutes to fix that one at a whopping $6.00 plus shipping, It's a black 300 watt that's only two years old and looks like new, it's running strong. My point is, these kitchenaids are so easy to fix that anyone, can repair any problem, from 250 watt up to the 575 watt mixers in about 20 min., if you only take one 10 min. coffee break. Now, let me get to the point, If you have a pro 600 with a plastic transmission cover, dont frett, were going to fix it. Get online and go to: buy-it-nowstore.com and purchase the metal transmission housing from them for $12.99 + shipping. When I recieve my pro 600 monday, I will take it apart and write a step by step procedure to replace the plastic housing with the metal housing, then I will write it here on this descussion page for anyone to follow. I will not be responsable for any damage to your mixer, or injury you may incur to yourself. You may follow my instruction, at your own risk. If you feel like it is within your mechanical ability to complete the task, go for it, if your not sure if you can do it, take your mixer to a repair shop and let them install your new metal housing. "Problem solved". I will be back here next week to write the procedure, It's very simple.
The lift bowl design is more ridged than the tilt head; this allows for a stronger motor and in the case of the Pro 600 and 5+ the use of the spiral dough hook.
You only spill batter taking out the bowl if you try to take it out with the beater, whip or hook still in place. If you release the attachment first, you can take out the bowl out with only a slight tilt back and nothing spills. If you lift the head on the tilt head mixer so you can spin off the stuff on the beater, you are asking to get hurt. You could of course do this on the lift bowl mixer by lowering the bowl part way with one hand and controlling the motor with the other, but again, I don't recommend that.
Either style of mixer does a very good job. I think that long term, the bowl lift is better than the tilt head. I have both; I use the lift bowl more.