Just makes wonderful drinks, morning after morning.
Positive Product Points
No need to recap all the other comments - for me, this is a fabulous machine. Favorite features: easy to plumb (especially with Chris Coffee's kit), pump is quiet with easy to adjust pressure, it has gauges and thermometers, beautiful (it even makes my formica kitchen look better), great sized boilers, and best of all, the PID makes excellent repeatable espresso. The PID really works well.
Negative Product Points
Like many other machines, it would be a hassle to manually refill the tank (I don't understand why they don't have side fills). If I couldn't plumb I would still get this model, buy Chris's plumb in kit (so easy) and use the tubing as a hose for top refill. I had to adjust the pump pressure when I got the machine (taking off the cover is easy, adjusting the pressure is very easy). It would be nice to have a hole cut through the cover so it could be adjusted without removing the cover (a very minor issue as it's only done once).
This is my first real machine so I can't compare to anything else. I got interested in home espresso when a friend gave me an old Krups that on rare occasion made up to mediocre espresso. I decided to do one upgrade and am glad I chose this. It's very easy to use, which was a requirement for my wife. It will make very very tasty espresso so long as I grind correctly, tamp consistently, and have good beans. Steaming is great although it took a while to learn (two brands of milk just didn't work, and, I learned that with a 4-hole tip I just have to leave the tip in the center and let each hole churn the milk in 4 'mini' vortexes, very easy). I considered many other models and decided upon a dual boiler. The Brewtus didn't seem to have all the features this has (separate steam power switch, rotary pump, dual plumbing options...), and, Chris Coffee earns it's great reputation. This works on a simple appliance timer so that's a plus - no need for an expensive timer that some brands require. Since I was buying a whole setup, I got a vario, espro tamper, and a naked portafilter (and a good deal). These tools helped me learn and make very consistent, tasty, drinks.
I agree with everyone - Chris Coffee is the best. They offer good advice and after purchase help. I don't think I'd buy from any other company after working with them.