The Oster Simple Blend is a good little blender as far as budget blenders go. The first thing I noticed was the packaging - very crisp, clean, and to-the-point on describing the blender's features. I first washed my blender in warm soapy water per directions suggestions, let it dry, and then proceeded to grind coffee beans, one of the things it claims it can do. Stick to your regular coffee grinder folks. The Oster does a very uneven job on coffee beans. It does say in the "helpful tips book" to add ingredients that need to be processed more thoroughly to the bottom, but that didn't help.
However, the next few times I used it were for such things as smoothies, making potato soup, and pureeing veggies for my little man. The blender does an exemplary job with the frozen fruit, and I didn't have to stop once to stir the fruit around like you do with other budget blenders. My smoothies, milkshakes, soups, and baby food were all the perfect consistency using varying speed settings.
I also love how easy it is to clean! Just add water and detergent and blend for 10-15 seconds, then rinse. I only had to use a sponge to get out some residual blackberry seeds once. If you clean it immediately though, no problems.
Overall I think this blender is a great choice for your basic cooking needs.