Great potential, but after two lemons, not recommended.
Positive Product Points
This machine is very stylish (except the tag.. see negatives). The brew temperature and brew time is good . The display is very bright and clear, and the controls felt and operated nicely.
Negative Product Points
The handle assembly of the carafe on the first machine I bought broke the first day. The replacement model Williams Sonoma gave me had a very strange burnt smell which ruined the flavor of the coffee. The carafe pours very slowly and is difficult to clean. The ugly product tag was placed in plain view on the side of the unit instead of on the back where it should be.
As mentioned in my negative comments, the handle assembly broke the very first day I had the machine. It appeared to be a quality control issue. The handle assembly forms a rim around the steel carafe, and then the lid screws into the handle assembly. So essentially, the top black plastic part of the carafe was no longer mated to the body.
Williams Sonoma exchanged the machine with a Cuisinart at my request. Unfortunately, the water right out of the showerhead of the Cuisinart was only 180F, so it was promptly returned... for another MT-500.
The first time I used the second MT-500, I noticed a strange smell in all parts of the machine. I figured the machine was simply new and some residue of oil was burning off. The smell never did go away however. Most of the time, the coffee would have a horrible bitter, burnt rubber sort of taste to it, and I would get an upset stomach. In fact, I made two pots of Gloria Jeans Columbia Supremo that were so bad I took the coffee back to Gloria Jeans and insisted that the coffee must be rancid!
Frankly, I was terrified of having to return to Williams Sonoma for a FOURTH coffee machine, so I desperately looked for other causes of bad coffee. I thought my releatively new Solis Maestro grinder could be the cause. Was I using too many beans? Was I grinding to fine? I tried freshly roasted beans from a local roaster and that was bad. I tried coffee from Peets too (Kenya... good stuff), but with the MT-500, it just tasted wrong. After three months of denial and taking my ground Peet's to the office to brew in the Bunn machine, I stumbled accross a review at appliancereview.com that mentioned the same horrible smell/taste. I decided to return it in exchange for a Krups AromaControl model (first pot is great.. same beans, same grind, same amount).
I think the machine had great potential. I was reading about 204F out of the showerhead, and the brew cycle was about 7 minutes if memory serves me correctly. It was a great looking machine, and it had a quality feel to it.
As detailed before, I purchased from Williams Sonoma and they put up with me through three exchanges. I think that speaks for itself!