Nice machine. Easy to use. Makes a decent cup if the pull is short. A good starter machine.
Negative Product Points
Noisy and vibrates. Water tank removal is annoying. Continues to drip once stopped. Pucks soft and messy to remove.
After visiting Northern Italy and Southern Switzerland on business, I was hooked on espresso. When I came back, I started looking for good espresso locally. The local coffee scene is not that great, and Starbucks was completely disappointing, so I started to research espresso machines online (Thanks Coffee Geek!). The most important thing I found out is that you get what you pay for. My price point was low (single income with three kids), so I wanted to try making espresso at home on a budget. The DeLonghi EC-140B was a nice starter unit. I found it on sale at Target. It was easy to start making brown water, and eventually a decent espresso. Once I was convinced I could indeed make my own espresso, I also purchased a Cuisinart burr grinder.
The EC-140B is has a small footprint and fits well under the cabinets. It is loud and almost vibrates the cup off of the stand during use. The water tank is annoying to refill due to the hoses that sit inside and must be removed before tank removal. I eventually gave up on removing the tank and now I just add water with a frothing cup. The frothing wand seems to work OK. I don't use it very often. Cleaning is a bit difficult with the screw off design. The pressurized portafilter is messy to knock out if you are in a rush. The grounds stay mushy until all of the excess water has drained out, which takes a few minutes.
I know that most users of this site have gone beyond a unit such as the DeLonghi EC-140B, and I have my dreams as well, but until then, I would recommend the DeLonghi EC-140B espresso machine as a good starter unit, keeping in mind that you get what you pay for.