|I keep both a Kitchen Aid and a regular hand mixer.|
If you're new to cooking and baking, but are thinking about buying a Kitchen Aid or some other stand mixer, my friend Christie just gave be an awesome tip. She bought a cool avocado green Kitchen Aid Professional at Williams Sonoma on clearance for a ridiculous $120. I guess if you're willing to have an odd color mixer, you might just be able to get super good deal.
My Kitchen Aid is awesome because it does so much of the work that I don't want to do, like stirring and stirring caramel apple dip, or kneading soft pretzel dough, or kneading sloppy wet ciabatta dough. It's really just a nice tool to have when you spend as much time in your kitchen as I spend in mine.