A great first machine - even if it was your last machine.
Positive Product Points
Ease of use, compact size.
Negative Product Points
Steam wand awkward, pressurized portafilter.
This was a "step-down" for me. I sold my briefly-owned Silvia (gasp) for reasons I won't go into here about a year ago. My craving for quality espresso caused me to wander around Ebay and land on several auctions for display models of this unit. I quickly came to this very section (on CoffeeKid.com) and read enough positive reviews that I went back and bid...and won one.
This was an unused display model (black, not stainless) and came with the (cheesy) video and the pressurized portafilter. I won't spend a lot of time dissing the pressurized PF here - in fact, the shots were pretty good, and consistent with it. But I went ahead and ordered the non-pressurized PF directly from Saeco shortly afterward.
I have had to jockey around with the fineness setting on my Solis 166 to get 25 second double-shots - and I'm STILL not consistent - but I am getting wonderful, thick crema and good shots overall. (I use home-roasted Sweet Maria's Espresso Monkey Blend almost exclusively).
No, the great shots like I frequently got from Silvia don't happen quite as often, but this machine is serving me well with the 1 to 3 doubles I pull each day. I know I will crave the likes of Silvia or even a Livia 90, but will not be displeased with using this machine for the forseeable future.
Got a great deal on Ebay - the seller had several and was prompt and courteous. Likewise, the Saeco representative was helpful when I ordered the non-pressurized PF.
Three Month Followup
I still stand by the claim that this would be a great first machine. Unless you are on the Crusade to find frequent and consistent "GodShots", you may be satisfied with this puppy for a long time.