Hi Patrincia, I know you had this mixer question for a while. Many choices, but I am sold to the Kitchen Aid, both the 6 qt pro and the 5 qt artisan. KA warranty is EXCELLENT (yes, there are a lot of complaints, but really, if you work the system, it is good service). Yes, Hobart doesn’t make them anymore, it is now Whirlpool. Yes, the Hobarts were better, but honestly we need to move forward. The KAs are readily fixable, almost any mom/pop appliance fix store will be able to fix your KA at a very reasonable price. The parts are also readily available (internet search, consumer purchase thru the same mom/pop appliance fix stores or thru parts stores). You can do it yourself too, find diagrams online.
The price of the KA is very competitive, the refurbished models are a great deal. I have a 6 qt pro (green, new), and two 5 qt artisan (orange and red, both refurbished). If you are concern about the refurbished look, there is NONE (looks new).
My 6 qt pro green is actually a replacement of a replacement thru KA 12 month warranty. The original was a 6 qt pro and that got replaced by a 6 qt pro white; both had the plastic gear box cover which I busted out. Now I know when is the limit, and I always stop my mixer when I start hearing a struggle.
For egg whipping, the KA works very well. The planetary action, shape of the bowl, shape of the whisk, non moving bowl, lack of a center axel, air flow, are really well made and trusted. I would say it is KA’s original (either Hobart, same now in Whirlpool). Many other brands have copied this planetary action. YES, the other brands can be stronger, more watts, better parts, but really for egg whipping, the KA has no issues. For small batches of whipping cream, I prefer my 5 qt, the 6 qt bowl is overwhelming and it takes a while for the whip to grab onto the whipping cream. The 6 qt now has an optional 3qt bowl which has good reviews.
For bread dough making, pasta dough, attachments with strenuous power (pasta roller for example), the KA struggles. But as long as you keep the recipes sizes medium to small and listen to the motor to avoid a struggle sound, you will have no trouble. I burned my KA when mixing a 6x batch of Rose’s Bread Bible panettone, who wouldn’t? When mixing cake batter, I believe the true test is compared to mixing bread dough which is tougher. I think even the heaviest butter based cake batters zip fine on the KA.
I have to add a comment, and perhaps support Matthew on his stand mixer zero use. Matthew also prefers to mix pastry by hand (pie crust). I made Basic Sourdough Bread by hand, and really I had a better feeling and feedback on what was going on with the bread, like the elasticity, tact, moisture, spring back, additional amount of flour and water needed; which is more difficult to tell when done by the mixer. The bread came out stupendous. I did this by hand in a foreign country with a flour I never used before and with ambient temperatures much colder than what I have trained on. I believe that by mixing my hand, my hands could tell my brain how to proceed against these odds and when to know that things were right.
By reading the equipment section of Cake Bible and of Bread Bible, and even perhaps the little mentioned on Pastry Bible, you have the research done. Rose describes the many stand mixers systems out there, concentrating on design more than brand.
I also have a variety of KA other appliances, tiny and big food processor, immersion blender with whisk and chopper, fruit juicer, and blender, these help too.
I could not do w/o the KA stand mixer, specially since I am so used to it for whipping eggs and do the other small things I mention above. However, I do wish to have in addition: a Zo for bread, a Bosch or Electrolux also for bread, and a Pasta Magic with bronze disc for pasta. Yes, a 10/20 qt hobart would be next, but for now having several KAs is a good compromise.
Enjoy this link, you can see what I mean. The bread is the one I made in Italy, I did have to sleep next to my starter to keep it warm.