For the money, I guess it will do. But don't expect anything more than adequate espresso.
Positive Product Points
Ease of use Extraordinary customer service
Negative Product Points
Can't make a good shot of espresso. steamer inadequate
I've had my machine for four years and frankly was completely satisfied, UNTIL I started learning more about espresso and what a good home machine can deliver. I bought the machine as an upgrade from a Krups, so the improvement was dramatic. It's given me years of no trouble service--and I do want to compliment the extraordinary customer service from Starbucks. No product I have ever purchased has been backed by such an informed, patient, and lively service line. They patiently guided me during many calls in the first few weeks about how to get the most out of the machine. This has continued as they walked me through the somewhat complicated descaling procedures (once spending 90 minutes on the phone until I got it right).
My espresso education began only recently after taking a barista class at Joe's Coffee in NYC (heartily recommend it by the way), and discovering just what I was NOT getting from my home machine--adequate crema, pressure (the pressurized porta filter may be easy to use, but it's make sour espresso), temperature, you name it! When I called Starbucks to ask if there was anything I could do to increase the quality of my shots, they were completely frank about the machine's limitations, and encouraged me to upgrade (which I'm doing, buying a Rancilio Silvia this week--and anticipating, from all that I've read, a very steep learning curve).
It's too bad Starbucks doesn't make a better machine--I'd love to deal with them again.
Staff didn't know much about the machine at the store--but this was more than made up for by the sterling customer service available by phone.