If you know the importance of an E61 group-head in the extraction a good shot, then this machine is the definitely the best 'bang-for-the-buck' as previously mentioned.
Positive Product Points
This is a well-made, Italian E61 espresso machine and probably the best buy, for the money, anywhere.
Negative Product Points
My only beef is that the side panels are chromed plastic and not metal, but you'd never know it unless you took the machine apart. I wish I had known this before hand—however in truth, it has had no effect on the quality of the machine or the quality of the coffee it makes. Moreover, metal sides would have increased the price as well as the weight—so no biggie.
I have used this machine happily for almost a year, and recently a 110v relay switch blew. I went to the 1st-Line website and quickly found an incredibly helpful diagnostics page that told me what part was likely to be the problem. With a video and a few emails from the technical staff (on how to remove the device and clean the contacts), it became apparent that the switch needed to be replaced. I was immediately mailed a new part, at no cost because the Cuadra was still under warranty. It's very reassuring to know this kind of help and professional support is available whenever you need it.
1st-Line has been great in every way. They are prompt, professional and very solicitous towards their customers. They also offer great products at very competitive prices.