Because it "juices" everything, the juice will be thicker that what you are used to with a juicer. Some people will add water or a lighter juice like apple juice to thin it out and not dilute the juice. You can use it to make hot soups as well as ice cream. The longer you blend the hotter it will get. Although if you want to make fresh soup, you can use hot water.
Yes, it is as easy as the website says it is to clean it. Just add water and a drop of soap, blend for 30-60 seconds and it is clean.
Yes, I did own a juicer at one time but because I can do sooooo much more with the VitaMix, I got rid of it. When I make ice cream for the kids (milk, sweetner and frozen fruit) I will add some vegetables like baby carrots or fresh spinach. They never know whats in there. If using the spinach I just make sure I use colorful fruit so they can't tell the color change.