If you love cappucinos and lattes for not a lot of cash, this is the machine for you.
Positive Product Points
Stylish and very sturdy, is a very good machine for the price
Negative Product Points
The machine is fussy; you have to periodically dial in the proper grind and tamp for a good shot. Throw away the plastic tamp that comes with it and get a good metal one. Also, the cup warmer does not warm the cups very well unless you leave it on for more than 2 hours
I have had this machine for almost three years and I must say I am happy with the purchase. This is my first -- and probably last for a long time -- foray into the higher end espresso machine market. The previous machines I owned were a cheap steam model and a low-end DeLonghi pump machine, neither of which lasted more than a year.
Overall, this machine has given me no problems since the day I brought it home. Once I dial in the right tamp and grind, it gives me decent espresso shots (BUY A GOOD GRINDER FOR BETTER CREMA!) and great shots for lattes and cappos, which I mostly drink anyway. I recommend that you be religiously diligent in maintaining your machine; use only filtered water, flush your brew head and filter with water after every shot, and run hot water through your steam wand after every time you froth milk, and you should have no problems.
Speaking of frothing milk, this machine is great; I can get beautiful, silky microfoam on par with the best coffee houses every time with this machine. I have become the neighborhood barista as a result, and I love trying out new milk-based drink recipes as I find them. DO NOT use the silly metal frothing attachment that slips over the actual wand--it produces that giant soap bubble foam and is completely unnecessary. It might take a little time to get the technique right (you have to figure out just the right spot where the very tip of the wand gets juuust immersed in the milk), but the results are extremely well worth it.
I was thinking that I would have this machine for a couple of years before I moved up to the $1,000+ prosumer machines, but since it's still going strong and a pleasurable part of my morning ritual, I guess I will keep my cash (especially in this economy!) and stick with the Breville.
I bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond, which was a pleasant experience made even more pleasant with a 20% off coupon. :)