NOT ABOUT FOOD: Vitamix v. Vita Prep?
A friend highly recommended the Vita Prep (3 horse power) over the Vitamix (2 horse power), but given the Prep is intended for those in the food business, who use (and abuse) their equipment a lot more than those using equipment at home, the warranty is only 1 year v. 7 years for the Vitamix.
Is the 3 horse power really worth it? Is there so much more you can do with a 3 horse power Vita machine than with a 2 horse power?
The only difference that extra horsepower makes is that it runs cooler; it's there for machines that are expected to be running for many, many hours/day. Other than that, the machines perform identically, i.e., at the same RPM, etc. You're much better off with a household machine; you get a 7-year warranty and (superb) toll-free phone support should you need it. I was once told by someone in the commercial division that even though the same employee discount applies to the Vita-Prep, ALL of the employees opt to buy the 5200.
Vita prep is not 3 horse power machine, it's 3 hp only when motor stalled, Vitamix 5200 is 11,5 Amp and Vita Prep 3 is 12,5 Amp, 5200 is 2 horse power, Vita Prep 3 is 2,05 Horse power, it's stronger only when motor stalled with more torgue.
For home users the NG Vitamix models are probably a better bet than the vita-prep. They have stronger motors with better cooling than the 'classic' Vitamix but run quieter.
The shorter and wider jugs mean you use the tamper less and can use your Vitamix to do many food processor jobs. The shorter jug also is more likely to fit under kitchen cabinets.
I have a Prep 3 (got a great buy and it seemed a better choice than buying a new blade assembly for my 5000). I don't recommend that any home-user buy a Prep unless it's an offer you can't refuse. It doesn't perform any better than the home-use machines in the 5000 Classic Series and the warranty is MUCH shorter. No cool recipe books or DVD either; the relatively few included recipes are for commercial kitchens. I also have a new 7500 and am still getting a feel for it. I had hoped I could pulse-chop some mushrooms (at lowest speed, of course) in the new container but it almost immediately turned them into a mealy mess. A bit disappointing.