Best value under $300. Watch out for leaking though!
Positive Product Points
Price/Performance, ease of operation
Negative Product Points
Drippy/messy operation due to lack of Solenoid valve, poor durability, Cheap plastic enclosure
This was my first pump espresso machine (may it rest in peace). It performed quite well for the $150 I paid for it new. Prevailing retail price has gone up to $175 since I bought it. These has been much discussion about refurb units showing up for about $60. I think know why. About 8 months after I purchased the machine I noticed a "sizzling" sound emanting from within. I lived with it a month or so until one day I opened the case and noticed a plastic nipple attached to the steam valve assembly was leaking badly. Corrosion had set in on all the exposed metal parts. I suppose I could have made a warranty claim, but I was in the market for a machine with a solenoid valve anyway. I have since replaced it with a "Paros" but will keep the old "Espresso" for parts. If I had to do it all over again, I'd have spent the extra money for one of the other Gaggia machines w/ Solenoid valve (Classic, Tebe, Paros and Baby)