An excellent choice in a single boiler/dual use machine -- if you're single or don't entertain. ;^)
Positive Product Points
Very forgiving, flexible machine -- top-quality in a strictly home-user (versus "prosumer") machine -- quick, easy-to-use, and easy to "master" with truly superb results.
Negative Product Points
Small boiler (which is also a plus -- see below); stupid "easy froth" attachment (but on the plus side, it's easy to do away with!).
OK, so long before CoffeeGeek ever existed, I decided to get an espresso machine. After five years (1976-1980) of struggling with a La Pavoni Europicola, I gave it to a friend and bought a Gaggia Coffee. It lasted some two decades, but finally died, and I went out and bought another -- my current one -- in 2000.
Thanks to its small boiler, the machine heats up to temperature and is ready to go in minutes. Thanks to its small boiler, however, it is not the best at steaming volumes of milk -- so entertaining a number of friends who all want milk drinks can be a royal PITA. But making drinks one at a time is a piece of cake! The "Pannarello" frothing wand is, like most of these attachments, a crutch that true beginners may benefit from, but you really don't need.
This machine is great for a true newbie, or for even an experienced user.
(I think it's worth mentioning that, two years ago, I upgraded to a La Valentina HX machine at home, but have been using my old Gaggia at my office. Recently I picked up an old Olympia Cafferex for the office, but I've yet to get rid of my Gaggia -- it's been relegated to "backup" status in case one of my "main" machines needs to go in for repair.)
Peet's has these in stock seemingly at all times. You walk right in, you walk right out. And at least twice a year, they put them on sale for as much as 25% off!