If you aren't a total purist or a coffee snob, buy it!
Positive Product Points
The thing is a little tank. I don't find it noisy--it purrs like a machine doing something. I expected much more noise based on other reviews. It is easy to use and provides good espresso with a nice heart if you use good coffee. Steam wand works, provides good milk foam. Water tank when filled will last a couple of days for me.
Negative Product Points
Yeah, it looks a little boxy, just like an old Volvo. A "tiny" bit of cleanup involved. Drain tray is flimsy.
Look, for the 219.00 I paid, this is a great deal. Yeah, it's got some of that Seaco goo going on but it's easy to remove with a little running water over the sink (turn the disposal on!). I saw a you tube video of the goo and I thought the noise was going to be horrible when the machine was on. Not so. It really isn't bad at all. Just sort of a loud purr. Certainly not a deal-killer. What might be for some is the foaming wand. It doesn't move much and that's annoying if you plan to make lots of steamed milk. I am in it for the espresso, so it's not a big deal to me. It works, you just have to be a little careful with it. The drain tray that the cups sit on is flimsy, I think. But again, not a deal-killer for me.
Coffee. That's what it's about. It's easy to use, the pressurized bit doesn't bother me as I am not a super-expert in this area. Pucks or no pucks, water temp and so on? I just want to turn it on, hit the button and get my espresso so I can get back to work or wake up. In terms of that this little machine is making me really happy (and it's cheaper than a flight to Paris, after all...though not as pretty, it's true). I don't have a grinder (I don't care THAT much about coffee nuances) and Lavazza espresso in the machine makes a better creama than Illy, as far as I can tell. Amazon has some deals on coffee too. I use the stuff in the black can. I'd buy an aroma again. Not sure at this point if I'd ever buy a more expensive model or different make.
Oh yeah--costco got it to me in about 5 days. This was well short of their quoted 10-15 day delivery estimate.
In other words, for me this purchase worked out great. Good Luck!
Awesome and I got a price much less than the $350.00 I've seen in some places.