I love it and for the price I do not think I could have gotten a more serviceable and well made unit.
Positive Product Points
Consistently brews delicious espresso. Every shot is perfectly brewed and the brewing temperature is GREAT. The instructional DVD is wonderfully easy to understand and gives step by step instructions.
Negative Product Points
The access panel door is a little difficult to open. The water tank is positioned directly over the electrical supply, so caution should be exercised to be certain water does come in contact with the electrical panel. The water tank could be a little larger.
The Gaggia Compact is a beautifully modern looking streamlined machine and looks impressive, but is small and requires little space. I love the swivel base which makes access to the water tank and power supply easy. The instructional cd that came with the machine could not be done any better -- it is forthright and makes programming and using the machine a snap.
Each shot of espresso is perfect, from the first one in the morning to the last one of the evening. It is a joy to have espresso on demand with the push of a button -- no cleanup, no mess. The crema coffee is good, but probably not as good as I'd hoped it would be. The espresso is far superior to any I've been able to make using other machines or buy in any local coffee shop. The steam wand takes all the work out of producing excellent capuccinos and produces wonderful foamy cappucinos very quickly and with almost no effort.
Wholelattelove's website with its comparison features made the selection of the Compact a snap. Their sales staff was knowledgeable and helpful and the machine arrived in perfect condition in only three days.
Three Month Followup
Still loving it. Had to get a new shower head from Wholelattelove -- excellent service. The showerhead became warped (??) and fit improperly. Wholelattelove was quite accommodating and sent easy to follow instructions along with the replacement. I'm still happy with the machine and after using my old espresso machine for a few days, am delighted to use the Gaggia again.
One Year Followup
After one year I'm still in love with my Gaggia Compact. It still brews consistently and every shot is perfect. I find it easy to clean and easy to use. I use my own roasts and find the coffee delightful. It is difficult to drink anyone else's coffee. I'm completely satisfied.