I own a Cuisinart. My mother in law gave it to me years ago and I thought that I'd never use it...I was wrong. It is a lifesaver for certain recipes, such as making salsa to can.
Anyway, it is very powerful, easy to use, dishwasher safe and lasts a long time! I noticed that Costco has a nice one that is rather affordable right now. They carry things like this at Christmas time, so if you can, snatch it up!
I highly recommend spending the extra money on some things and this would be one of them, but I love to cook and like quality when it comes to my cooking tools. If something doesn't work well or is frustrating to use, you have wasted money, because you won't use it.
Good luck, Nancy