Established chefs may want something a little more oomphy, say one of those Kitchen Aid things that look big enough to mix concrete, but for those of us who aren't into the heavy kitchen lifting, this attractive mixer from Bodum more than fills the bill.
It's lightweight, so your arm does not ache from holding it. It has five speeds, enough to go from mixing up a cake batter, whipping cream or eggwhites to mashing potatoes or kneading bread dough. Today we mixed up a cake from scratch (orange spice...use any spice cake recipe, replace half of the liquid with freshly squeezed orange juice and quite a lot of orange zest, bake as usual. Serve with cream cheese frosting, sprinkle on more zest. Easy and pretty and good). Yesterday it was biscuit dough. Tomorrow, who knows...meringue? Of course this frenzy will be over soon...you know what it's like when you're in the New Appliance Honeymoon Stage.
The Bodum Mixer comes with a breadhook attachment which will come in handy when pigs fly, one single beater, and one double, so you can tackle a variety of mixing chores. The cord is retractable and although some reviwers found its cranking mechanism unwieldy, I'm not having a problem. They also felt the cord was too short, but again, I don't see it. What, you're making babka and suddenly feel an overwhelming urge to hike to Yemen and take the mixer with you?
All in all, this could be a Kitchen Survivor and avoid exile with the pasta maker, fondue set (they told me fondue parties were coming back), George Foreman grill, In The Egg Egg Scrambler (go ahead, say it), and some big stainless steel cylinder--it has a pour spout and clear lid, and the bottom spins around. That's all it does as far as I can see, except emit a burning odor and trip the circuit breakers when I plug it in. Must have been one heck of an infomercial though.
If you want a good, basic mixer that does all the basic tasks, doesn't take up too much space and is easy store, looks nice, has well thought out features, versatility and utility, I don't see how you can do much better than the Bodum Bistro Electric 5 Speed Hand Mixer.