I purchased this mixer in February of 2003 and 15 years later it's still going strong. I was younger, obviously, single and wanted to make my own homemade bread and pizza dough. I researched, talked to people, then decided on this KitchenAid because I wanted something of quality and endurance. Man did I make the right decision. Over the 15 years I have worked this mixer hard making pound after pound of bread dough, pizza dough, cookie dough, potica dough (how many of you know what that is?), pie crust and every dough and crust in between. I also have the attachments that I use with this to grind nuts, shred vegetables and block cheese, skin apples and potatoes. If it can be mixed, whipped, ground, shredded and peeled, I've done it with this mixer. Does it still look brand new? No, like us all after 15 years, it's showing signs of wear and tear but still looks darn close to new.
Now on to what I like about it. Off the bat, how structurally sound it is. I mean this thing weighs in at 25 pounds of good old solid cast metal. Powerful motor with plenty of low end torque to push through even the most binding of concoctions. The paint job. What is that, powder coated? Awesome, easy to clean, and no chipping. Ample range of mixing speeds. From as low as ---"stir" ---to as high as ---throw, mix, and spray everything out of the mixing bowl because you were in a hurry and weren't paying attention and THOUGHT you were locking the tilt head when in reality you maxed out the mixing speed--- (If you own one, you know what I mean....if you don't own one yet but buy one, you'll find out). The nylon coated dough hook and beater. Easy to clean. The wire whip is a nice size. The lock in design for the mixing bowl. Very easy to insert and remove and it holds the bowl in place solid. The power hub for adding additional attachments.
What I don't like. The one piece pouring shield. I used it a few times, it annoyed me, I pitched it. The color being white. Don't get me wrong, its a nice white and if you like white you'll like this white. Back in '03 though my colors were limited. I think the choices were like white, yellow, and pink so I opted for white. Thought about spray painting it but I'm married now and the wife put the cabosch on that idea. That blue willow color looks rockin' and that's what I'd get today.
One last note...when you buy this and set it up for the first time, there's adjustment screws on the head of the mixer. Put your mixing blade in and adjust the screw so the tip of the blade almost touches the bottom of the bowl. It should come with instructions on how to do that.
So in a nutshell, there is no doubt in my mind this mixer is one of the best on the market. It isn't cheap I know, but if you cook and bake a lot, its well worth the investment in the long run. I hope this helped and if you have any questions feel free to email me via my profile page.