I have had a basic Braun hand blender for more than 20 years without any issue - the item is sturdy and works well.
I purchased one of these newer Braun Multiquick 5 in July 2011 and found first of all that the blade attachment for the chopper was very poor and would get damaged very easily if the lid accidentally lifted during use and therefore I needed to replace this after a few very light uses.
Nevertheless, this item was very versatile and I purchased an additional larger bowl for it as well, and used it several times a week for chopping herbs, making breadcrumbs, chopping/grating cheese and to make smoothies, which it performed without issue (the motor did not over heat or struggle at any point).
Then last week I tried using the whisk attachment for the first time; it worked very well, HOWEVER after two uses the motor just stopped working and the unit does not come on at all. Dead.
So all in all this item did not even last 18 full months. As stated in other posts, the warranty is not valid in this country, and a replacement body is £50!
The quality of Braun products has severely lowered in the last few years.
UPDATE: as I had invested in so many attachments and did like the size and flexibility this item offered, I ended up purchasing another one in Feb 2013(different package, MR550 Buffet that also expanded my collection of attachments). 13 months later, so far so good, although I am ensuring not to ever put any strain on the motor. We will see...