Bottom line: for the money, this is a pretty good espresso machine, especially if you do not make too many of them on a daily basis.
Positive Product Points
quick warm-up, decent extraction, decent frothing, good water tank capacity, easy cleaning, very good value for the price, decent overall performance
Negative Product Points
lots of plastic, no warm-up top plate, touch buttons are annoying, cheap quality of materials, unimpressive design, looks cheap, durability
I have owned more expensive espresso machines (Gaggia Classic, Saeco Via Venezia (two), Breville Roma (two), Breville BES830XL (two), and Delonghi EC702 Pump Espresso). Save the Gaggia, the rest of the machines do not outperform this cheap Mr. Coffee. In terms of delivering a decent espresso cup, this 76-dollar espresso maker is as good as the above. Let me immediately say that the quality is likely to be an issue -- I had to replace it twice while still under warranty. However, if you make 1-2 espressos or cappuccinos daily (and if you clean it and maintain it properly) it should do the job and deliver consistently well extracted espressos. I use ground Lavazza medium roast (sometimes Qualita Oro) and can pull a good cup every single time. Like with all other equipment, you need to make sure you are using the right grind -- too fine a grind will clog the brewing basket. If you pack it too much, you might also have issues.
If you are looking for a decent cup of espresso (and if you know how to make it), you don't need more than Mr. Coffee Pump Espresso Click Here (www.target.com)|10990076&CPNG=appliances&ci_sku=10990076&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw= I was considering a Rancilio Silvia -- Version 3 (it costs about a grand with PID & timer) but, having the previous experience with more fancy stuff, decided to buy this cheap little machine.
Target customer service people are great. Would buy stuff from them any time.