Machine is easy to use and a decent cup can be had with very little effort.
Negative Product Points
The steam wand is too close to the drip tray and steaming milk is near impossible.
The machine is what it is, an entry level machine. It has the power to deliver the perfect cup all you need to do is purchase the non-pressurized porta filter, have the fresh beans ground right and get the tamp right. The problem arises with the frothing wand the "panarello" does come off which leaves the straight tube. The trouble is the tube is way to close to the drip tray which makes all but the smallest pichers useless. Saeco needs to rethink this wand, you could spend another 50 bucks on their cappocinitore attachment but it looks like a lotta mess for nothing. If all you want is a good shot without the foam this machine will do it.
Online no problems
Three Month Followup
Well this machine is still in use but not at home I have put it in my office. I have replaced it with a Silvia. The Via Veneto is a solid performer as long as you don't get too anal about it. I use it with pods and it is great. The Steam wand is a definite negative it needs to be redesigned.For the price the unit makes a decient cup.