Well-built. Delivers adequate, but not great espresso. Good all-around for price range. If perfection is a must, go elsewhere.
Positive Product Points
Simple. Does everything I need it too. Sturdy construction.
Negative Product Points
Minor nitpicks. Such as access to tool tray requires removing the drip pan. Start button sometimes acts like I've pushed it twice (so it turns on, then off really quick). It's almost as if they didn't debounce the signal.
First off, I have the programmable version from Williams-Sonoma. The pre-programmed setting seemed fine to me; I made mine do slightly longer pulls. This one also has an additional hot water wand.
Unlike others that complained about the grind, I've never had an issue with clogging regardless of grind (course or fine). Slightly courser than a true espresso grind works best. Also, I keep it clean, use only filtered water, and have always used the double filter.
If you just want espresso, then you'll probably want a different machine. It's a bit on the bitter side compared to a coffee house's shot. Also, you could get a simple espresso machine cheaper. Others have commented that crema is not quite right; probably not, but close enough for my tastes. However, if you rather have nothing unless it's coffee house quality, I wouldn't get this machine. For the rest of us, ignorance can be bliss.
It's great if you like lattes, cappuccinos, etc... Maybe even Americanos, again if you're not too picky, due to the hot water wand on the programmable version. Frother works well and is pretty solid with it's 360º swivel mount. It's actually what made me want this one because I've had too many leaky ones before. But, the foam isn't going to win a competition.
Holds a good amount of water for size of machine, enough for about 8 to 14 drinks depending on what your doing. Most water loss comes from the end of frothing. So, I do a bunch at once. What? You didn't want 8 cappuccinos in one sitting?
Has a pre-heater/cup warmer on top. I rate the warmer an 'eh', better than nothing.
On a whole though, a good machine for this range.
Typical W&S, box-store experience.
Three Month Followup
Still going strong with no complaints. Average about 6 espressos and 6 cappuccinos a week.
The grind is still the highest order variable in this machine's espresso equation. As I've previously stated, it seems to respond best to courser than true espresso grind with the filter that comes with the machine. Also, the first basket has more of a wet consistency in the basket, but doesn't affect the flavor.
I am thinking about trying a different basket like others have done. If I do, I'll post it back here.