I came from a strictly no-frills kitchen. The most state-of-the art appliance my mother owned was a hand mixer from the '70s. We did everything by hand. Obviously it was a treat to bake at my grandfather's house where we had a Hamilton Beach stand mixer (from the 90's) and other fun appliances. After my grandfather died I inherited his mixer, thus becoming the family baker. Unfortunately, the mixer gave me more problems than it was worth and I went back to doing everything manually. Anything involving butter was a nightmare. You'll find I don't cook with it a lot and that comes from not being strong enough to beat it properly. (I have weak wrists, unfortunately.)
Last March I got the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer for my birthday and it has been absolutely wonderful. One use will make you appreciate the amount of thought, experimentation, and innovation that went into this appliance. As compared to other mixers I've used, the Kitchenaid brand is more intuitive, better designed, and (frankly) creates a better batter.
So is it worth the money? Hell yes! If you can swing the price tag, get it!