I have burnt out two hand held mixers making buttercream frosting. I need a good mixer that will last a long time making buttercream frosting often. I don't have large amounts of money so the best possible deal would be great. In other words...not a $300.00 mixer.
I'd go for the Kitchenaid 7 speed hand mixer (approx $80) and you can buy dough hook beaters seperately if you need them.
You can get a standard KA almost anywhere for well under $200. Seeing them for about $150- $175. Beats hand-held.
Cusinart is WONDERFUL and the price is comparable to Kitchen Aid. I find the motors in a Cusinart to be more powerful than any other for home use.