Great first espresso machine, good quality, very forgiving. But you'll want to upgrade.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use Pressurized portafilter is more forgiving of a crappy grinder Reliable Inexpensive Makes decent shots of espresso Great first machine!
Negative Product Points
Small boiler Anemic steamer Pressurized portafilter may be a negative for some people Makes only decent shots of espresso.. nothing amazing. You'll want to upgrade if you're serious about your coffee..
This is an excellent little machine! It is a workhorse and won't let you down. All the switches and internals are good quality, so you can expect to get a great deal if you're buying a used one. I received mine as a gift, approximately two years ago and have since upgraded to a Kitchenaid Proline espresso machine, and will soon upgrade again to a La Spaziale S1. When I first got it, I really enjoyed the quality of espresso it made.. but after a few months, and after trying shots from other machines, I decided that it just wasn't enough machine for me. You may want to forgo this and just skip ahead to something more powerful. Keep in mind, though, that this machine is inexpensive, great quality, and very forgiving for those just learning how to pull shots of espresso. You may find yourself frustrated if you get, say, a gaggia classic and cannot pull a decent shot because your grinder isn't grinding finely enough. With this machine, you have the pressurized portafilter, so you can pull a pretty darn good shot even if your grinder isn't up to spec. It's possible to nab one of these off of ebay or Craigslist for around $80, and resell at a similar price when you decide it's time to move on.
I received this as a gift, so there wasn't a buying experience. Receiving the gift was very pleasurable, and I did enjoy it quite a bit.