The price of this is high, but compared to less expensive machines you do get what you pay for.
Positive Product Points
This machine is very easy to operate after a few minutes of learning/instruction.
Makes very good espresso, makes outstanding cafe crema, and even a very good cup of "american coffee".
Easy to clean, very fast warm up, and serves one cup after another.
Negative Product Points
Big, takes up a good deal of counter space (positive note: easy to find each morning).
Makes ***consistently*** great espresso -- but not actual "God shots".
WARNING: The high quality of the drinks along with the ease of use factor make for dangerous over-caffeinated conditions (grin).
Expensive. Very expensive. Best received as a gift (as was mine -- thanks again Rebecca!)
Expensive plastic... (Am I old or what? For $2500 the thing should be carved out of a block of exotic wood that was felled by magical elves)
Brew unit is not user serviceable (hey! I'm an engineer!)
Utterly satisfied to date. Have not had such consistently good and aromatic coffee before.
Very easy to operate after investing about 15 minutes reading the manual and making "one of each" drink. The included video instructions and a bit of fiddling make it possible to understand and use all the features very quickly.
Makes very good espresso, outstanding cafe crema, and it is possible (using the A La Carte button in extra mild mode) to make a very good cup of "American coffee" -- although why you would do that with the other drinks available at the push of a button...?
Easy to clean, very fast warm up (if it's in energy saving mode), and serves one cup after another for a line of house guests who each want to make their own brew. Cleaning up the grounds and emptying the tray are simple.
Williams-Sonoma is the place to buy this. (No, I do not work for them, but they will service it for the life of the product -- no questions asked.)
Three Month Followup
I like this machine even more now that I have used it for 3 months. In fact, when I go on business travel -- I now add my coffee machine to the other things I miss at home (wife, kid, pets,...).
One Year Followup
Still love this machine. Makes great coffee and with the right beans and the right powder per shot setting, it makes very good espresso. Nice foam, great aroma extraction. I make coffee and/or espresso for myself at least 6 times each day (I work out of my home office). Not only do I get fresh coffee with each cup, I get far better coffee than I would anywhere but in a hand full of high end shops around the country (I know of 1 in San Francisco, and none here in the DC area). The machine has been reliable, it tells me when I need to descale or clean it -- and those are simple processes. I sometimes run a few batches of distilled water through it, so the amount of stuff that comes out when I descale is minimal. I dread the day I need to send it out for repair, but with the reliability of operation so far, I don't really expect that soon.