Good Machine. Wish I did my homework, but is great for how I am using it.
Positive Product Points
It looks great on my kitchen counter top Faster than making chai tea lattes on the sove top steams milk fairly fast fairly good tasting espresso
Negative Product Points
scratches easily pressurized filter wet grounds
At first i did not mind the filter basket being pressurized, but after trying a really good espresso I am not impressed.
The machine is good for lattes as the bitterness of the espresso is not noticed in a latte
The only reason I have put down that I will not buy it again, is that it is my first machine. I am young and have plenty of time to experiment with other machines.
A downside is, that the grounds are wet, but i just dump them into a large yogurt container, and thow them out into the garden.
Overall this is a great beginner machine for someone who is just getting into espresso. It is easy to use, and provides an easy start into the world of espresso, however, do not buy this machine if you are looking for a true espresso.
It was recieved as a gift, but I know it was bought at Costco for $279.99 (Canadian Dollars)
Three Month Followup
its been 3 months and the machine is still holding up well. I have been reading other reviews and am now trying to find where I can buy a non-pressurized filter basket. Ither than that the machine still is great. I pulls decent shots, but they are only good when mixed in a latte or other beverage. I can't wait to find a non-pressurized basket so I can make my espresso maker run like a high quality one. Next time I go to buy an espresso maker. Just because Breville makes good blenders and toasters doesn't mean that all their product are great.
One Year Followup
I am now looking into getting a nonpressurized basket for my machine. Does anybody have any suggestions about where to buy one or if they will help in my espresso making.