When the machine works it makes a fine cup fast, but due to the early failure of components I will avoid Saeco in the future.
Positive Product Points
Looks great, tolerable noise, quick heating time, removable easy-to-clean brew group assembly, some tweakable settings, logical OS/menu, compact, reasonable build quality (if you don't mind a bit of plastic), no wait for steamer after making a coffee or vice versa, coffee tastes great!
Negative Product Points
Broke down within 3 months of ownership despite fastidious maintenance (boiler problem: would not heat up), could have more clearance under coffee outlet, cannot steam milk while coffee is brewing (I thought this was a feature of twin boilers--probably my bad/newbie naivete), leaks water from behind coffee nozzles, temperamental sensor on grounds bin, steam pressure not fantastic
After some years of drinking stove top espresso pot coffee I decided to buy a machine and chose a superauto because of the convenience. I was attracted to the MC+ because it looked like a nice machine with twin boilers and compact size.
I have been very happy with the Saeco...while it was working. It looks great (I have the silver model), fits under the average kitchen cupboard with adequate clearance and the noise is bearable. Although a lot of the complaints about this machine relate to the amount of plastic it uses in its construction, this doesn't bother me: plastic doesn't dent and it is light. This thing is heavy enough--it would be unliftable with much more steel in it. Did I mention the brilliant removable brew group?
To paraphrase Montgomery Burns: "I don't know much about coffee, but I know what I hate. " The coffee this machine makes is quick and to my tastebuds very nice. I have started drinking espressos exclusively now, and have tweaked the machine to optimise the taste. You can adjust water temp, grind fineness and amount of coffee. It is such a joy to make a really good coffee by pressing a button.
Most people seem reasonably happy with this machine, but there are some bad experiences. My machine decided to break down at about 2 months. I had been advised to clean, rinse, floss and descale regularly which I did. Despite this, some boiler fault developed in mine and it would not warm up.
Saeco in Melbourne Australia were reasonable, but I wouldn't wish the experience of a warranty repair on anyone. The machine took longer than I was told it would to get back (told 7-10 days, took almost 3 weeks) and requests for progress reports on repairs from Saeco were essentially fobbed off. I would give their customer service about a 6/10.
Overall, I cannot recommend this machine because my experience with it's reliability has been unfortunate. This might be par for the course, but I think if you pay AUD1400 (I got a discount) for a device like this it should not go belly up in the first few months (unless it is abused). If I had my time over, I would buy one of the other superautos like a Jura or Spidem.
I bought it on ebay from a guy who sells them via Saeco direct. He also sells great coffee: http://www.aykaramba.com.au. The buying experience was seamless, the shipping fast and in the end there was no problem getting the warranty honoured by Saeco.
Three Month Followup
This machine has started making a loud clunking noise during making of coffee at times. I have been told this is some sort of gear cog which is damaged. Unfortunately I am still unable to recommend this machine, due to unacceptable quality control, durability and Saeco's poor technical support.