This unit offers a heavy porta-filter, a fast heating cycle, good frother for microfoam, and easy clean-up.
Negative Product Points
The pump is very loud (as most units are in this price range) and the housing unit is not as attractive as I would like.
After 3 years of use, I find the Gaggia Espresso produced quality espresso with nice crema each time. Only after 3 years did the crema diminish a bit and water began leaking from the portafilter. Not realizing that the group gasket should, at least, be replaced after 2 years of use to keep the pressure constant, I began researching the purchase of other machines only to find that the Gaggia was the best for the price range. I have since ordered a new group gasket (easy to replace) and now have my thick crema on hot espresso shots! I have gone through 2 other machines (Mr. Coffee & DeLongi) and this one has held up the best by far. To get a better machine, perhaps my next one will have to be a La Cimbali Liberty or maybe a Saeco Magic Deluxe...
note: Before I replaced the gasket, the temperature was only reaching 160 degrees, probably due to water leaking over the porta-filter and into the cup. To remedy that situation, I turned on the steamer button until the ready light turned on, then turned it off before pulling the shot. The temperature was 200 degrees when done by using this method.
I bought the Gaggia at Macy's in La Jolla... nice store :)