makes delicious espresso, makes a decent cappuccino, has a cool retro-euro look, quick startup time, and worth every penny
Negative Product Points
the steam spout isn't positioned very well (limited range of motion when steaming). Also it's a little hard to get the coffee holder handle thing all the way in place.
Wow! Thanks so much to coffeegeek -- this was the entry level espresso machine I was looking for (a Christmas gift for my girlfriend). I've spent some time in Paris drinking pleine de petits cafés and my girlfriend lived in Italy for a year. We are highly impressed by the quality of this espresso and cappucino. It's also relieving to know that a real espresso machine doesn't have to cost you $700.
The body is plastic but the design is super retro, in a classic European way. We still haven't fully got the hang of steaming milk -- the nozzle is positioned in a way that limits the vertical range of motion you can make with the cup of milk -- but it still makes a decent cappucino.
very quick shipment, good price, easy ordering (espressozone.com)