Convenient kitchen workhorse: three years powered on, and still running strong. Love it.
Positive Product Points
Reliability after 3 years daily use, never turned off.
Negative Product Points
Pump is a little noisy. Works best with some aftermarket accessories.
I bought an Oscar for home use after two previous espresso machines died on me after less than two years use. This Oscar has lasted just about three years, and it's still going strong. I leave it on all day and all night, and the only things it needs are monthly cleanings and a new gasket once a year.
Now thinking back to the first couple of months that I owned it, I remember that at first I had trouble getting a consistent 25-second double shot. Sometimes it would run out fast and watery; other times it would completely jam. The problem turned out to be the original Oscar double filter basket. (Maybe I just got a bad one.) I replaced it with a LaMazzorco double basket, and that solved the problem. Another initial frustration was the original four-hole steam nozzle. The steam pressure seemed too low with that nozzle. Lucky for me, Chris Coffee had included an aftermarket two-hole nozzle with the original packaging, and that nozzle works great.
One other issue is the noise of the pump, especially when the water reservoir is mostly empty. When I'm making coffee, I expect noise. But at various times during the day, to replenish water evaporating from the boiler, the pump suddenly comes on with a roar for a few seconds and then shuts off. It took some getting used to, but now it's just one of our house's familiar sounds. I wonder if plumbed Oscars also roar like this. Maybe not, since they have an external pressured water source. (?)
A lot of people comment that the black plastic Oscar is ugly, but I like it. We have other black appliances, and the Oscar blends in nicely. My wife says that it's cute. She thinks it looks like the baby brother of the commercial machines you see in bars and restaurants. I like the rounded profile. I even like the plastic. It's a strong, modern material, like Corian countertops. It doesn't get hot. It's easy to clean. In summary, I'm very happy with the Oscar. I wouldn't trade it for a stainless steel machine. If it ever breaks beyond repair, I'll probably buy another to replace it.
No problems with Chris Coffee. They're very helpful.