veggie lover: The "blank plate" is a solid plastic piece that is the same shape as the mesh screen and goes in the same place when you put it together. It does not allow anything to drop out of the bottom (where the juice normally comes out) so it all gets "homogenized" and comes out where the pulp usually does when juicing. You need the blank plate to make ice cream and nut butters.
rawererin: I just got a Champion for Christmas and I love it! I do not find the clean-up to be a hassle, however, I would recommend finding a home for it on your countertop. I don't think I would use it as much if I had to drag it up and down off the counter because it's very heavy. Mine has a home on the counter and a basket next to it that houses all the parts and a small jar of olive oil with which to coat the shaft before each use. If juicing, clean up takes no more than a good rinse off in warm/hot water and swipe with a wet sponge. If making nut butters, I do need to get out the bottle brush and a drop of soap to cut the oils but it's still not that big of a deal. Sooooo, worth it too when you consider the cost of store bought nut butters!