Fine as long as you realise its limitations and realise you get what you pay for.
Positive Product Points
Clean. Easy to use - anyone can use it. Quick. Simple. Fuss-free. Passable coffee. Small footprint and light (I got mine from home to work in a carrier bag on the underground one morning).
Negative Product Points
Not great coffee. Very limited user controls. Plasticky. Stupid fake crema system.
OK. I am not yet a fully fledged coffee geek, I confess. Although I've been playing with a Gaggia Coffee Deluxe that I bought the other half as a birthday present, I'm still pretty much a novice, but since I quit smoking I'm really becoming more discerning as a coffee drinker so I think I'm well placed to give a view on the Philips Senseo thingie.
I asked my sister to buy me one of these as a birthday present as I was sick of having to duck out of work to go to the canteen to pay £1 for a cup of tepid brown drink that looked like something that had passed by coffee, but never stopped to make friends. I guessed that the pods would be cheaper than I was paying, could not be worse, and hopefully anyone else in the office could bring pods if they wanted.
Well blow me if it hasn't been a rip-roaring success here in our office. People who are into thier coffee have been buying pods and bringing them in and the machine gets regular use yet stays clean and tidy. There are no arguments about who buys the coffee because we all buy our own and also get to try each other's which is interesting.
Sure, it doesn't compare to a really good cup of brew from a decent barista, but then it's fine for what it is. My only real annoyance is that I've figured how they get the crema and it isn't a good system. In the machine the brewed coffee is forced through a tiny hole which makes it froth up crema, much like the rubber things Gaggia used to package with their machines for novices to use, then realised it messed up the pumps (this from Gaggia UK). This is utterly pointless and just creates fake froth, but then we live in a fake world.
There is no way these thigns are ever going to make real crema as the coffee in the pods just is not tight enough. Compare a Kenco or Senseo own brand bag with an Illy one - the Illy pod won't work in a Senseo machine since it is a) too small and b) packed as tight as a lump of wood. The commercial senseo pods are all like tea bags!
Anyway, I would suggest that if you can get a machine for the office or a communal area then go for it - they are really practical and a good way to avoid instant coffee, but avoid for home use and stick to a cafitiere or drip machine.
Finally, here's my tip for the bags. Kenco is OK - the office agreed that it was fine. Senseo own brand was disgusting - insipid and over-roasted yet tasteless. However, the cheap ones that are selling for 69p for 18 in Lidl are the best of all and cheap as you like.
I understand my sister bought mine through e-bay and paid about £35 or thereabouts. At that price who expects a decent buying experience!
Three Month Followup
Everyone in the office is into this little device, very popular and seems to be robust. Thumbs up.