I had a Hamilton Beach (got it for about $70).
It wasn't bad.
I did some research before buying an expensive one, and got a Breville.
Would have purchased Kitchen Aid, but didn't like the online reviews.
I think the biggest thing is determining exactly what you're going to use it for, and then match the functions with that.
I don't make a lot of smoothies, so that feature isn't necessary (I do have a blender attachment on another appliance if I really needed it - my dedicated blender was given to my son when he set up housekeeping)
I have heard the Ninja is a reasonably good machine, but I've no personal experience.