You'll be delighted with the heft, design, performance and consistent results of this machine.
Positive Product Points
Great looking. Extremely heavy. Makes great, consistent espresso. Frothing wand has very heavy duty swivel fitting. Controls are very solid. Great power cord design. Portafilter is really heavy and solid.
Negative Product Points
Smaller porta filter, and I can't figure out what the actual size is online. I think it's about 50mm. Not an actual negative, but it's the only thing I can think of.
It's a great looking machine and it's built like a tank. I was surprised by the weight. I looked at this machine online then happened to see one at the local Williams-Sonoma store. I grabbed the handle on the portafilter and was really surprised by how heavy the machine is. I can't tell you how important it is to be able to twist the portafilter in and out of place without dragging the whole machine across the counter.
The little indicator on the fill tray is somehwat quirky. It doesn't float up to the full position until the tray is almost overflowing. The chrome finish on the frothing wand wears off too quickly but this is probably the case with all frothing wands.
The portafilders all have a single pinhole on the bottom, rather than an open screen, like I would have expected. They are double walled and the inner wall does have the typical mesh of holes. The expresso passes through these holes first, then out the single hole and into the holder. I think this helps keep the espresso at the correct temperature and pressure during brewing, because this machine makes amazingly consistent espresso.
The power cord has a really neat appearence and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the excess cord could be pushed into a well designed cord storage design on the back of the machine.
Water can be added either by removing the water box from the front of the machine or by pouring water into a spout on the back. Both are convenient and it's easy to keep the water box clean.
Overall, this machine seems to have received much more thought that the average appliance. Everything from the appearance, to the power cord have been considered in detail and it really shows. I'm delighted with this machine. I drink latte more than anything else, so I use every part of this machine and have never been dissapointed.
I bought my machine from an individual who had only used it a few times. He listed it with a "Buy It Now" price that I couldn't refuse. It arrived wrapped in some nice bath towels (thanks!). It was in perfect condition in spite of the strange packing approach.