krups gusto price is 40 bucks on overstock.com free shipping this espresso machine was a nice acquisition. it does not have a crema enhancer which is a plus. if you use the proper grind and fresh roasted coffee beans you will get a fine espresso without bitterness and with plenty of crema. the steaming apparatus is the weak point. don‘t expect to churn out one cappaccino one right after another.i‘d say that improvement on your espresso drinks with higher cost machines would only be a marginal improvement
Three Month Followup
i'm using this espresso machine more than ever. i have a ritual of having 2-3 doubles before i go to work. gives me a lift and gives me something to think about while at work(gee did i tamp at 30 or 40 pounds...) seriously. i can't believe i got so much machine for $45. i still see these espresso makers on ebay going for $50 or so.combined with my zassenhaus grinder(see my review) i have an espresso set up that makes pretty good espresso's. i still don't use the steaming wand to any extent as i drink my espresso's straight. a few tips i'd like to pass along. preheat the machine and portafilter and an espresso cup by shooting a blank shot until the boiler light comes back on.then load your filter basket and tamp while you are waiting for the boiler light to go back off. then you are ready to make your double shot of espresso. don't use the single shot basket you make better espresso using the double shot basket. another tip. empty the drip tray after each espresso made otherwise the drip tray may overflow and leave a puddle of water on your kitchen counter. the drip tray is pretty shallow.