A high-quality machine for those entering the world of espresso.
Positive Product Points
This is really a great machine for those just getting serious about espresso, a real step up from "department store" machines. Easy to use and consistent shot after shot. Just keeps going and going! And Starbucks offers excellent customer support.
Negative Product Points
Steam power peters out some when making multiple drinks. Manual priming can be a little tiresome when doing multiple drinks. In the black version it's difficult to see the water level in the tank.
This machine has been happily humming along every day for three years without a single problem. I've thought about replacing the portafilter with a non-pressurized version for greater control, but it's not necessary for our current needs and wants. Cleaning the machine is a breeze, although tightening screen/filter's retaining screw can be awkward.
Because of the manual priming and the limited steam power, this isn't a great machine for preparing multiple drinks in short order. It's best for making one or two at a time--but at our house, that's all that's needed.
In short, this is the machine that turned me into an espresso junkie. I expect to move up to a more advanced machine in the future--but probably not until this Barista gasps its last breath!
This is not our first Barista machine. I had bought my wife an earlier version several years ago (a different maker, I believe) that died after less than a year of use. Starbucks customer service moved us up to this new (and more expensive) model at no cost and even called our local store to arrange for a smooth exchange. Sweet!