For a small office, the coffee produced is very good and the hassle is low
Positive Product Points
Very self contained
Once a day clean up
People with various levels of coffee knowledge and skill can all produce a decent cup
Once the steam temp is reached it is reasonably powerful and dry. I happen to like the Panarello style steaming wand attachement.
Negative Product Points
Initial shock at the amount of plastic (promo pictures are misleading!)
Manufacturer recommends that you stay away from grinding on the finer settings
Long lag waiting for the boiler to get up to steaming temp
Need to flush out the residual coffee in the hose running from the brewgroup to the dispensing nozzles
We were looking for an office solution for 3 people. We don‘t have a sink in the office so the thought of cleaning up after every espresso pulled (and latte steamed) was undesirable. The superauto route was the way for us and the price reductions on the older model, black Magic Deluxe that were being offered in Fall 2000 by 1-st Line and WLL ($650-$700) clearly put it ahead of the Jura and the Solis. The Jura also seemed to be a "repair intensive" machine and I thought its water filter system was a negative rather than a plus.
I still get nervous when I pull out the brewgroup to give it a cleaning, I anticipate this requiring a replacement in a couple of years time with its 98% plastic composition. But so far with about three months of pulling 10-15 shots a day things are running well.
Beans run through the grinder to date include what came with the machine (very nice), local roasted dreck, Mauro Atto Primo - and for the past couple of months Monkey Blend, Moka Kadir blend, and Malabar Gold blend. Fresh home roasted beans have made all the difference in our level of consistent enjoyment and all three of Tom‘s blends have scored high marks from us in this machine.
I agree with other people‘s comments about the brew temp being on the low side. Being able to adjust this, as is possible on the more expensive superautos, would be nice. I have followed a suggestion to activate the steam button for 10 seconds (and then deactivate) before brewing in order to raise the brewing temp without tripping the cut off thermometer. I have noticed an improvement in the cup with this extra step.
Previous experiences with a manual machine in a small office setting were less positive, with a mess being constantly generated and not cleaned up. The superauto allows a full clean up to wait for the end of the day and during the day the mess is nicely contained by the machine.
Is the coffee as good as what you might get with a similarly priced grinder/manual set up (like Rocky-Silvia)? Probably not and you can‘t play around with as many variables. But in an office environment, being able to push a button and get a very decent espresso right away is appealing as is the minimal clean up requirement. People without any experience or desire to learn about the espresso process can still pull their own consistent shots when they want.