Espresso is never more than 30 sec away. I've had my machine over a year now, it makes great espresso and the built in grinder/doser will spoil you rotten.
Negative Product Points
Espresso is never more than 30 sec away;)...The hopper on the grinder bridges and the Steamer wand is hard to use in a large frothing pitcher.
After the machine was 12 months old it quit heating. I sent it back to the importer, it was out of warranty, so I had to pay ~$70 for shipping and repairs, but it was back in a week.
The Frothing wand is fairly close to the tray/counter so it it a little hard to get a large pitcher/tall thermos mug under it if you make lattes.
The grinder/doser setup is the ultimate in convenience. If the machine is on, and I don't have to wait 2 min for it to warm up I can literally have an espresso in 30 sec or less.
It makes great crema espresso, as someone else noted, with this machine you are gonna put away a lot of espresso, pump the doser twice, lock the handle, push the start button, 15 to 20 sec and you have espresso.
I'm very happy with the machine, given the opportunity I would buy it again.
Gift, I have no idea.
Three Month Followup
Time to beat on this one a little bit.
Fast forward 7 months.....The heating unit has gone out again. I haven't contacted them to see what the warranty period was on the last repair, but it's been about 6 months, and I'm pretty skeptical that I'll get a free repair, and even if they do the shiping is half of the cost.
Maybe I use it too much, I'd guess I make less than a dozen shots a day....