If you want a solid build and good looking machine that produces excellent drinks everytime... and don't want to break the bank... buy this machine.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use.. easy to program... had it dialed in to my taste in just four or five tries. Instant steam is GREAT! Nice looking. Nice build quality. Very substantial. Good value.
Negative Product Points
Wish I could get direct plumbing for it. Don't like having to open the machine to dump the grounds. Especially since it stops until the grounds are emptied.
I love this machine. As much as I'd like to have a Livia 90 or some such sitting on my counter, the fact is, I like convenience.
I drink mostly cap... this machine nails it. I've been hooked on Illy coffee for a few years now and once I got the grind and dose where I like it, the machine is spot on each time. For foam, it's quick... almost simultaneous... it's ready to go when you are. No waiting and you can get micro foam with no effort.
I like the looks and I'm real pleased with the build quality.
I went in after the sale... missed it by a few days. Told them too bad and if they would honor the sale price I'd buy it. They made a call and honored the price. It's a steal on sale..
Three Month Followup
6 months later, I'm still loving this machine. I've probably run nearly 1000 shots through it and it's just like the day I bought it.
Sure... I still crave having something more exotic looking sitting on my counter.... complete with Mini grinder and lots of wild looking guages and knobs with a ton of chrome........ but I snap out of it everytime I enjoy a great cup of coffee from this machine. I'm pleased!
One Year Followup
While I'm still enjoying this machine, I have to say there have been some quality issues arise. I'm currently on my third machine. The frother has been the issue. The hose that connects the unit to the door mounted frother is not the best design. To me, the problem speaks poorly of Saeco.
On the other hand, Starbucks has been FANTASTIC standing behind the machine. I've been very close to the year end of the warranty in both cases, and they have replaced the unit with ZERO question AND with a complete new unit with another full year's warranty.
Finally, I must also admit that I still get the urge for a more exotic machine. I hate filling the water reservoir... and I'd like to see a thicker, richer crema... I'm afraid this machine just isn't up to that. So........ I'm starting to look.
Still a good machine... still worth what I paid and I'm still enjoying the drinks.