Yes you can make a slightly better cup with a fancy machine but in terms of bang for buck this one takes some beating.
Positive Product Points
Superb value for money. Pretty bullet proof. Makes very good coffee. Quick and easy to use.
Negative Product Points
You can throw away the single basket - too small Ditto tamper.
In my opinion making great coffee, like trying to achieve perfection in most things, is a question of diminishing returns. Choosing the right coffee for you, single source or blend, grinding the beans just prior to making, not over extracting, drinking from the right receptacle (I'm amazed that supposed coffee geeks will put up with disposable cups!) are far more important than the machine you use. The key things you want from a machine are to dispense water at the right temperature, at pressure, through the grind and to emulsify the oils.
Someone who is targetting optimal coffee will not want this machine and so I've pitched my review for the average person who is looking to easily make a great cup of brew and may be looking at this machine. I've given the marks bearing in mind the price.
If you do all the basics and use the Breville 800 you will make great coffee. If you use a machine costing 4 or more times as much you can make slightly better coffee, but few people actually have the palate to tell the difference. And despite what some would have you believe those super-expensive Italian pieces of equipment can be pretty unreliable.
I've been in the business 14 years trading most machines and I use this one at home. It is very quick - I leave it turned off and turn on prior to making. By the time I've ground the beans and loaded up the basket it's ready to go. Let's face it - how many cups do actually make at home, so why keep a machine on all the time.
You want a grind slightly bigger than optimal otherwise the basket will clog. You then get about a 12 second extraction on the bigger basket, which is the only one you need. Do not over-extract or it will go bitter. With good raw material this produces a great tasting cup.
The 800 is pretty bullet proof, robust and easy to clean. I've used mine hard for over 3 years with no probs. It has great features like pulsing the pump prior to extraction to prime the grounds and flushing the system when switching between steam and coffee modes i.e. equalizing the temperature. The downside of this is it goes through a bit more water. The tank is very easy to remove and fill, it just slides out, and I tend to do this first thing every morning. You can also easily fill the tank without removal through a clever push button to release opening on the back.
The drip tray has a clever, simple indicator to show when it's full and needs emptying about once a week with normal home use (about 4-6 cups a day)
I sell this machine and I'm not here to advertise myself