For what it’s worth, I’ve had the KitchenAid Professional (bowl raises and lowers with a lever) for about 20 years. It is a workhorse. I use it for cakes, breads and even the grinder attachment for grindng meat. I don’t have it on the counter, so every time I use it I have to move it in and out of the pantry, and let me tell you, this thing is big, heavy and bulky. And removing the paddle/whisk/dough hook is awkward. But it is very dear to me and I know I can count on it to mix up anything.
I was recently staying at a friend’s house, and she is not a big baker, but had a lovely smaller capacity Kitchenaid on her counter—where the beaters tilt back. It was so easy, strong, and such a joy to use. Plus, you can get a glass bowl which makes mixing even more fun. I loved it.
If I had to do it all over again, I’m not sure what I’d do. More times than not I use a hand held Kitchenaid for making cakes because it’s easier than schlepping the Professional out. I think if I had the smaller mixer that tilts back with a glass bowl I’d use it more often.
At the end of the day, it depends what you are going to use it for most, and how often.
Whatever you get, you will enjoy it. Hope that helps!