Great performance, Nice machine (internally) Nice Looking machine (externally) makes great coffee.
Positive Product Points
Heavy duty brass boiler, high powered heaters with very little lag time between ready lights. Good quality filter holder. Lots of steam with this machine. Steam wand parks above the drip tray so it can be purged without another container which is a great idea. Good pressure for extracting coffee. Large water reservoir. Nice control panel with quality soft-touch buttons.
Negative Product Points
Structurally not very impressive. Frame twists when cranking the porta-filter into place. Too much plastic holding things together. Cup heater is not very warm. Wont take much of a chill off the cups. I still have to preheat everything in hot water.
Overall, I like this machine. The distributor was able to get me some non crema-enhanced filter cups, and it made the machine top notch as far as the output goes. I wish the structural integrity was better, but I've learned to hold the top of the machine when putting the porta-filter in place to keep it from twisting and "creaking".
I've had the machine apart (with distributor on the phone) to check the cup heater performance. The circuit boards and controls are top notch. Nice quality electrical components with Heavy duty wiring and connectors look like they'll last a lifetime.
Brass parts are nicely cast and professionally finished.
The machine looks very modern. If you like the old utility looking Italian machines, this one wont excite you. If you want one to blend into your decor, this one does a better job of that. The rounded features are less intrusive than many hard-edged square machines.
Puchased from Aabree Coffee Company. They treated me well and had a good price and informative website. Kyle Anderson, Solis's US Distributor is the best customer support I've ever dealt with.
Three Month Followup
It's January 18th 2003, and the machine is still cranking out great coffee. My wife is now drinking Espresso, so she's running it as well. The Auto water-dose feature is very helpful for her since I didn't have to teach her to time shots or explain why it's important. No problems with the machine at all. Very reliable!