I'm totally happy and my family and friends are impressed. I expect to spend no time thinking about what I wish I would have bought instead.
Positive Product Points
If you're buying something for long term life enhancement, do you ever regret buying the best? From day one I've been making the best espresso I've ever had, and the machine itself is like having Meg Ryan hanging out in your kitchen. Friends walk in, stop, and say "Oh, wow". I pull a double shot to offer up, and another "Oh, wow". My daughter has stopped asking to go to Starbucks. Mother likes her morning latte and I enjoy making it. What else is there?
Negative Product Points
The weakest link in this system, so far, is the operator. A water level guage would be a good addition. Its no big deal to pop the cover and check, but an unfamiliar operator is probably going to run it dry.
22 years ago I bought a 1961 Corvette. Low miles, 2 owners. I was told at the time by people who knew a lot more about cars than I did that I probably paid too much. But it was a beautiful car and was exactly what I wanted and today it still gives me great pleasure and no problems. When it comes to long term, life enhancing purchases, buy the best and get what you really want. I want any error in the price / quality equation to be on the side of quality, even if it means over buying to get to that level of quality and function and aesthetics that comes with paying more than you thought you were going to. Thats why I bought the Millenium, and no I didn't do a lot of comparative shopping. I like the machine and I expect to like it in 10 years. It's classy, functional, elegant and easy to use. I was making the best espresso I've ever had on the first day and now I can leisurely extend my quest for improvement knowing that the limitations to perfection are probably my technique and not the equipment. The price is up there, but what is the cost of disappointment factored by years?
I've made my living in sales and customer service and I think I know the real deal. Chris at Chris' Coffee Service is up in the "best of best" class. Extremely helpful and informative and goes to great lengths to make sure you not only understand the functions and the procedures, but also the concepts and mental pictures of why and how. Chris is helpful and enthusiastic to the point where you get the feeling that what he would really like to do is drive over to your house and show you in person how this (beans + water = magic) thing really comes together