The short answer:
The only person who can answer this question for you, is YOU! The automated pre-sets mean you can walk away from your Vitamix and not worry about overblending/underblending your food. For some people, it means less of a learning curve, or extra time to get ready in the mornings.
Here are some questions to consider:
-Will using the pre-sets mean using your Vitamix more?
-Do you care about walking away and coming back to a finished product?
-Do you like following recipes in cookbooks?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, then maybe you'll really enjoy having the automated pre-sets!
The long answer:
Vitamix comes in different models with different names - but they are ALL able to make the same quality recipes. In my eyes, these different models are made for different PEOPLE with different LIFESTYLES, rather than making certain types of foods. Therefore, if you're wondering if the automated settings will help you be make extra recipes, the answer is no.
...so WHY the pre-sets?
The automated settings are timers, so each setting will always automatically shut off after the same amount of time. What this means to you is that you'll never have to worry about over-blending your smoothie into a soup, or melting your frozen desserts into syrups. If your someone who has a hectic morning, the minute long smoothie setting means 60 extra seconds to get something done!
These timers are also perfected with many of the recipes included in the accompanying cookbook, meaning you can make all sorts of fancy drinks/desserts/sauces/soups and have them come out amazing, on the FIRST try!
You can still make amazing drinks/desserts/sauces/soups in the other models, but it might take a couple tries, especially if you're not big on measuring and following recipes. In that case, we recommend just going with the manual models.