Overall, I am very pleased with the machine and with Chris' Coffee. In spite of the initial DOA issue, I have no regrets at all.
Positive Product Points
I love this espresso machine. It (along with the new grinder) is a whole new level of espresso from what I had. Shot quality is way more consistent, as the PID holds the temperature pretty stable. It took me quite a while to adjust to how it steams. It came with the two-hole tip installed, which is probably better for me than the 3-hole or 4-hole tip (which was also included). But with some practice, the froth is much more uniform than it was initially, and much more than with my old machine.
Negative Product Points
Here's the ONLY complaint I have. After unpacking the machine and setting it up, it was DOA. The power indicators came on, but the LED display and heating elements did not. It turned out to be one wire connector that was dangling inside. I was told that it probably came loose during shipping. However, after I reconnected it, it snapped into place because it has a tab lock on the connector. I couldn't even get it off--so I know it didn't just come off in shipping. I suspect it just wasn't completely snapped on when assembled. This would have allowed it to pass any testing, but would have allowed it to come loose in shipping.
I don't care for the LED lighting (I won't share what I called it). Fortunately, it has an "off" switch, so that's not a complaint. :)
Customer Service: (See DOA comments above) Since I received it after business hours, and a weekend, I didn't think I'd be able to get it going for days. I found Chris' Coffee on Facebook, and made contact that way. The tech called me pretty quickly after that, and offered to either take it back, or walk me through the troubleshooting. I really, really didn't want to disassemble a brand new machine that I'd spent that much money on, but I certainly didn't want to repack it for shipping, either. So I opened it up and quickly found the loose wire. I was most impressed with their efforts to satisfy me.
I did not think I would use the internal water tank, because I planned to plumb it in. I have not gotten around to that project yet, so I'm using the tank. The machine is too tall to fill it in place, because of a cabinet over it. So I have to slide it and rotate it just to fill it. It is a huge, heavy machine, and this is not convenient. But I knew this on the front end, so that's not a complaint. Fortunately, the tank is large, and I don't have to refill it too often. I just need to plumb it in.
I do wish it were about 1/2 inch shorter, so I could keep espresso cups on top. Again, not a complaint.
I like it that the site encouraged shoppers to talk to a human before making the purchase. I knew what features I wanted, and I thought I knew what machine I wanted, but it was good for someone to tell me if there were other machines that might be more suitable. Mackenzie did a great job. I forgot to specify the 15 amp adapter, and by the time I thought about it, it was ready to ship. She opened the box and put one in. Then when I realized it was going to be delivered to the house with nobody home, she was able to get the delivery changed so that I could just pick it up from the carrier's location. Packing, shipping, and notifications were perfect. Mackenzie also helped me select the grinder and accessories that I needed.