Great shots, great look, great price for what you get in return
Positive Product Points
I like the look of the machine, my kitchen is all stainless, so it fits in well. The removable water container is easy to use so I don't have to pull out the machine to fill it. It is easy to use and all the buttons (all 3) and the knob have a very solid feel to them.
Negative Product Points
Mine drips water from both the brew head and the steamer/frother wand when warming up (only sometimes), the stainless gets dirty easy from finger prints, The frothing wand gets dirty easy (from Milk of course) and you need to make sure to take the "turbo" frother off to clean the dried milk off of, or blow steam after each use to remove any risidual cow byproducts
I bought this machine because a good friend of mine has it and speaks volumes about it. I also got onto here and read the reviews that only bolstered his comments. This is my first espresso machine, and I orginally bought it so I wouldn't have to go to *bucks every day (better cost per drink if I make it myself). This has become a favorite daily activity of mine and is becoming ingrained in my morning regimen. I like the espresso maker but I do have one comment that refers to quality. I want to push no one away from the company, BUT my first Classic came with a dysfunctional pump, so Gaggia customer service told us to return it to the store and buy a new one, so it was kind of discouraging to have to return a$500 machine because it was a lemon. Ok, so we bought another because again it came highly recommended and this one works like a champ. I really have no major complaints except that, and we have had no problems since. The machine pulls a great shot without too much hassle and the milk frother works well. I have had only 1 yr to practice but I am pulling consistent repeatable shots on a daily basis. A great first espresso maker for someone looking for solid performance.
My buying experience was good, but I did all my internet research first. I got a good recommendation from a friend and then backed it up with online reviews. The only reason I bought it at BBB was that I had a $400 budget, and I could use a 20% off coupon if I ordered in the store through their online system. They were also very understanding of our lemon and accepting of the return, with no hassles.