Great for small-medium start ups, would be conveniant at home if you can afford it.
Positive Product Points
Very easy to use. Even our management team has been able to use the machine. :)
The machine has been incredibly reliable (so far). It's currently supplying coffee to 50 or 60 employees and hasn't needed any hand holding or excessive maitenance. The 3 strength settings seem to work for all the users, no one has had to doctor their coffee very much since we figured out what roast was most popular.
Looks really cool in the employee lounge.
Good price for an automatic.
Negative Product Points
The steam wand really doesn't have enough oomph. You can only steam enough milk for a couple of cappucino's (or one latte) at a time, and it does take a while to get the temperature back to coffee levels. Makes it difficult in the morning when there are 20 people in line for a fix. A double boiler would have been great, but you get what you pay for.
All the plastic is a bit disturbing. This has raised some fears as to the machine's long-term reliability but it has been fine so far.
I was able to convince my company to buy a decent espresso machine and was able to get approval for an automatic (I didn't think that our employees could really handle anything more manual). The Magic DeLuxe fit into our budget (we paid $750) and looked like it would meet our needs (100-110 employees). It was incredibly easy to set up, and even easier to use. The hardest part was actually finding the counter space for it.
We've now gone from about 15 dedicated coffee drinkers (usually getting their fix from the Starbucks downstairs) to about 60 regulars. No one will even touch the drip coffee now.
The biggest problem has to be the limited water supply and single boiler. Making coffee or espresso is fine, the machine can easily pound out a morning's worth of coffee without anyone having to wait too long for it.
The problem is when anyone steams milk. It can take a while for the system to get hot enough, and bleeding it off afterwards seems to take forever. This is also where the water supply really isn't enough. We usually need to refill once or twice in the morning (and again in the afternoon) to get everyone caffinated. Again, this has not been a problem when people just get their shots.
The steaming itself makes a wonderful froth for cappucino but hasn't impressed me all that much with lattes. As I mentioned, it seems to need a bit more oomph. The frother attachment probably doesn't help either.
All in all, this machine was a bargain. I would probably wanted the Royal Professional if we had many more employees, but the DeLuxe is working out just fine for us.
The process was easy enough, once I knew what I needed.
Three Month Followup
Well, the machine is still going strong after 19 months and several hundred pounds of coffee. It is now handling the coffee needs for about 45 people and hasn't skipped a beat yet.
It is important to keep the machine clean though. A good scrub every week or two does wonders though.