Do yourself a favor and just go ahead and rationalize the price for one of these things. Buy one!
Positive Product Points
Easy cleaning brew group, simple to use LCD display, energy saving mode, two boiler system with rapid steam, good user adjustments, cup warming surface, and pre-ground coffee chute.
Negative Product Points
No auto on timer, dump box full warning display is too easily activated and shows full at times after only a few brew cycles.
Even after years of pulling shots with a La Pavoni Professional (hand carried from Italy many years ago) I love this machine. Just buy one if you can rationalize the cost. The ease and convience is worth it especially if your into cappuccinos.
Many reviews on this site detail this machine well so I will just add the following comments to getting the best results from this and other similar Saeco units.
Give the machine at least 30 minutes to warm the cups properly. Set the brewing temperature to max. Set the dosage to the maximum of 9 grams and the grinder to its finest setting of 1. Program the cup size for a 1.8 oz. single
Brew two cups at a time if possible, for the second cups brew cycle will be slower than the first and better extracted.This is the only way to lengthen the brew time to anywhere near the recommended 20 seconds and improve the extraction.
When frothing milk for cappuccinos use cold 2% milk for best results and keep the pannarello device stationary in the container and just below the milks surface. The results should give you a dense fine foam. Remember to keep to the 1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk, 1/3 foam rule.
Good luck and enjoy.
I had a fine buying experience with 1st-Line. After ordering a Saeco Royal Exclusive on the Web they quickly called to tell me that it was out of stock but offered me a Magic Comfort+ instead for only $100 over the price of the much cheaper Royal. It was delivered in 2 days as promised.