Well built, easy to maintain, produces very good shots with decent crema. Not as good for steaming milk -- inadequate steam pressure. Frother sucks!
Positive Product Points
Very low maintenance, easy to use (once set up properly), good shots, good crema, extremely
consistent. Controls well laid out. Easy to remove brewing paraphenalia for cleaning. Good
diagnostics. It really does do what it is advertised to do -- grind, tamp, make espresso, and
eliminate grounds -- all automatically!
Negative Product Points
Steam wand is rather flimsy, and steam pressure is rather pitiful. I usually drink a cappuccino or latte -- with this machine (in my office), I've defaulted to straight shots! I'm not sure why the pressure is so paltry. The included frother attachment isn't a satisfactory "fix" for the problem of inadequate steam pressure -- it produces large, weak bubbles, not the desired microfoam.
I bought this machine used, and am quite pleased with it for the price at which I obtained it (around $450). At its list price (or even discounted at around $8-900) it's overpriced, in my opinion. It works quite well in an office setting, where I don't have access to running water,and often want a shot in a hurry as I head out to a meeting or to teach. (Helps keep my delivery speed up!) My home machine is a Faema single-group commercial unit, and I much prefer the control I have on that machine (as well as the tremendous steam capability). However, this machine is a reasonable compromise, and is well-suited to the office environment, where ease of use is key.