I bought this unit after giving up on the crummy frozen-bowl type of maker (see my other reviews). I looked around quite a bit and settled on the Hamilton Beach because of the reviews and the super-cheap price. I can't believe what some of the hand-cranked machines go for! As a kid, we had the kind with the wooden tubs, so I knew how much they leaked. Anyway, this unit has been everything I'd hoped for. Yes, it is lightly built and could be damaged easily. I'm pretty easy on equipment, so that shouldn't be a problem. It works like it should. At least I knew what to expect from my previous machine. You still should chill your ingredients and shouldn't expect the ice cream to be firm until it's been stored in the freezer overnight. I like the large capacity so that I can add a lot of good chunky stuff (heath bars, oreos, almonds, etc.) Couldn't do that with the little 1-quart unit. The motor has a good fan on it and doesn't overheat EVER! I didn't really think it was all that loud. I use it in the kitchen sink for convenience and the noise wasn't any louder than the dishwasher. Great machine for the money.
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]