My immersion blender was a hand-me-down Moulinex that’s at least 10 years old. From the online reviews and message boards, it looks like there are plenty of good models on the market.
Some features worth investing in are a detachable wand for washing ease and cordless. Multiple speeds and extra attachments are non-essential extras, in my view. The rest is up to your price point--or your luck in finding a good (un)used one at a yard sale or second-hand shop.
The eternal question of gift-giving.