A little modification to the system (~$30) makes wonderful shots.
Positive Product Points
It makes good shots, not the best shots but really good shots. Much better than *buck, or other chains, or 95% of cafe, period.
Negative Product Points
As anyone would know, pressurized filter is unnecessary and the plastic base is deceptive. Both combined to make fake crema.
Bought the system for 2 months already. I must admit I didn't do any research before buying. After I bought it, I'm stuck with it and the research began back then. With a little bit of modifications, that anyone can do, it can make good shots and it's a tremendous improvement over the original setup.
First you should realize that this machine can make crema even for the worst bean (even pre-grind). The trick being it is pressurized but the reality is actually the small hole in the pressurized basket, which shoots a jet stream of liquid to the plastic base that created microbubbles before it's flows to the cup. You don't want any of them.
I took the advise from the web and venture to buy the krup unpressurized filter (double, MS-0907163). It sort of works ok except the small grinds creep into your coffee, which is annoying. So forget about it. The correct filter basket is Millenium Model LaPavoni 51mm I.D. basket (53mm O.D.) (http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/questions/425817).
Third, actually the most important one, is a good burrs grinder. This is really depending on your preference. I used Baratza Virtuoso at setting 13-14.
Fourth, I took the plastic base inside the portafilter out such that you can time the shot more accurately. Also, once you removed the plastic base, you'll discover how your pressurized filter makes "crema" as there's a thin jet stream shooting to your cup making a lot of microbubbles.
Trick: The LaPavoni filter fits nicely to the portafilter. But it's impossible to jam it into the head of the Breville machine (don't try to force it in). Instead, there're 4 screws around the head that when you loose them a bit, you can screw in the portafilter with the LaPavoni filter. Then you tighten the 4 screws such that it'll fit nicely with the system.
After all that, I can get good shots with good crema. Pucks are dry and I can get 26 seconds shot. The variables that the system do not allow you to control are water temperature variability and pressure. I can't find any temperature/pressure mod for this machine so I believe that's the best I can do.