I have the Vita-Mix blender and my mom got us the Ninja Blender so the kids could make snowcones. The Vita-Mix wasn't breaking the ice down to a snow like mixture that my mom wanted for the snow cones. I have to say I think I like the Ninja blender over the Vita-Mix. Having a set of blades at the bottom and the middle makes all the difference in the world. I'm in the middle of making meals for the summer- I'll make enough to feed our family of 6 for 5 week. Last night I cooked the sausage for the Italian sauces. I cut up 3 or four sausage link (big) popped them in the Ninja and pulsed it 3 or 4 times. The sausage was completely cut up perfectly! In the Vita-Mix when I've tried this the meet has gotten stuck on the bottom-keeps grinding and the top pieces don't get hit (and I do use the tamper). We've made a couple of smoothies and put in the whole fruit just like we've done with the Vita-Mix and everything is blended smoothly. You can't run this like you can the Vita-Mix-so no soup making in the Ninja. However, I've only made soup in my Vita-Mix twice in once in 3 years so it is not a big deal around our house. You can find this item well under $100.00 at Amazon or right about $100 at the Ninja website.
If you are looking for a blender that will do a great job and not break the bank this may be it. Will it last as long as the Vita-Mix? Don't know.