I had an immersion blender that was purchased from a department store for a couple years until one day I attempted to use it in a hot soup I was making. Everything seemed to work until I pulled it out, and realized that the blender had completed melted around the blade.
I went in search of an immersion blender that was more along the lines of stainless steel, since I firmly believe that stainless in most cases will last a lifetime. Of the available models I selected the kitchenaid, because it had the stainless immersion tip, but also came with both a mini food processor and a beater attachment.
I've used all three attachments a number of times and I am particularly fond of the mini food processor. There are times you simply want to blend some herbs and oil, or maybe a small amount of pickles and onions for a tartar sauce, wherein the usual food processor requires more volume to work efficiently the mini food processor does a great job with a smaller volume of ingredients.
The immersion blender works as you would expect, the motor in the product seems very sufficient, it does not bog down in any application I have used it in. The beater attachment is handy if you want to emulsify something and don't care to drag out a larger appliance.
The only downside and it's a very small one, is that some of the parts display a warning to avoid getting them wet, which presents a slight challenge when cleaning them, you can't simply detach and throw into water.