Built rock solid; all the features of the Classic without the metal skin...and a $100 less. Self priming pump, dripless (for the most part), brass boiler; wonderful shots and great steaming features. Heavy duty, almost pro-like coffee filter holder lets you know you've upgraded to a serious level.
Negative Product Points
Horrible instruction manual. Perhaps they should consult some grade school English students for basic, how-to instructions. Parts are not clearly identified, componding the instruction manual woes. There is a six minute or so warm-up time, but that is offset by the self-priming pump feature. After drawing coffee shots, simply pressing the steam button (and waiting less than 15 seconds) unleashes a torrent of hot water. Finally, the horrible name. I'm 46! What am I doing with a Baby in the kitchen?
This is my third espresso machine, the first being a Delonghi, the second a Krups. Both were purchased after cursory flirting with making my own shots at home. The Delonghi simply quit one day, the Krups blew a switch 5 days after the warranty expired. I was ready to move up. After monitoring the coffee newsgroups for a month or two, I narrowed down my search to the Gaggia line. Finding wonderful product information and comparisons at Whole Latte Love, I was able to determin the only difference between the Classic and Baby (see positive product features). After a brief e-mail exchange with Gary from WLL, I ordered the Baby. Upon arrival, after set-up and perusal of the so-called instructions manual, I primed her up and began tesing shots. From the first trickle I knew I had made the right decision...and that first shot was great.
Easy to use, easy to maintain, easy to steam, and looks nice, too.