Mrs. Pope brought home a Vitamix 5200c from Costco yesterday and it costs more than a vasectomy (in Mexico). Yes, our old blender died trying to process 3 ice cubes in a smoothie, but do we need something from Lawrence Livermore Labs to replace it? Intact in a box, have a receipt, it's not too late, but she says this thing makes soup - I need an alternative, stat.
In my experience domestic grade blenders are ok for blending liquids but show them some ice cubes and it's motor burnout time.
We use a Blendtec which is very reliable (and used by most coffee shop chains for smoothies and shakes ) they are cheaper than yours starting at "only" £400...However if Pret and Starbucks etc trust them...
If you want to go 100% safe Themomix are excellent but the price! Starts at around £1000 - eeek!
If you can keep ice-cubes away and only give it light use most of the domestic £100- £150 models should do the job