Thanks for the suggestions everyone. In my research, I found a video of a test performed by "Popular Mechanics". Being a mechanical engineer myself, I love the lab type test they put on. The results were quite surprising, the KitchenAid was the best blender of the 5 they tested, including the Blendtec and Vitamix. Breville was also very good. My mom ended up getting me the KitchenAid (with a 0.9 hp motor) and I have used it several times. Love it.
Thanks again for all the input. Happy Blending