While living in halls at Warwick, my flatmate Job introduced me to the blisses of a hand held blender. We used it several times each day to make things like milkshakes or guacamole. And invariably they were fantastic. Even making cocoa is better when done with the blender because the thorough and forceful stirring gives it a better texture.
Of course I had to get one once I couldn't use the shared blender anymore and I asked for it as a christmas present (hint: asking for kitchen equipment for christmas always goes down well with parents and you’ll be much more likely to get it than eletronic trash like an iPod, say). And my parents outdid themselves and bought me a pricey esge Stab – which apparently is the company who invented those things.
But the sad fact is that the ‘original’ device while feeling all nice and solid just isn't as good as its Braun counterpart. On the one hand that blender couldn't be disassembled which makes proper cleaning unnecessarily hard and it also wasn't as good to hold as the Braun one with its large soft button just in the right place. Luckily that other blender was faulty and we returned it, getting the blender I actually wanted instead.
In fact I even got an extended edition with a surprisingly good attachment for chopping herbs (also works well for ginger or spring onions and even for chopping the ice for and blending Daiquiris) and another attachment for whipping cream.
I've been using this blender quite regularly for a few years now and it never let me down. Absolutely recommended.