This blender is well made and very heavy. It has glass jug instead of plastic jug, and its very powerful with 4 speeds. Looks nice too.
I use it for friuts smoothies. with linseed and sesame seed pre-blended in it first,then add banana, apples, kiwi. YUM... I also tried to make raw green smoothies, it was spinnach, pear, broccolli and cucumber, but bits of broccolli unblended, but still drinkable. I have not try it with ice crashing yet, I think it will does it ok too.
Also, haven't try it for soup, as I have a hand blender for it, but intruction stated that you have to cool the soup down first.
Cleaning - I have no problem of cleaning it and I found it fairly easy and quick, just fill half of the jug with water, then put back on and turn on blender for 5 seconds. then, rinse it off. Of course if you use it for greasy food or soup or more solid food, like hummus, then maybe a different story, as you cannot remove the blade to clean.
Storage - it store well and tidy, it has cable storage on base and a vitual socket for storing the plug.
I bought it on sale fr. Amazon, so it was half of the price, it worth every penny. I will recommend it for all kind of smoothies and cocktail at least!
update/ 12 Nov.2011
I was making my daily smoothie and the blade came off, leaked to the base unit. Some plastic pieces jump into my juice too. What a short life...
Returning it, but so much time wasted. Now have to start all over again to search for a blender.