I heartily recommend the purchase of this machine -- It's expensive -- but easily worth it..
Positive Product Points
Simply the best coffee maker I've ever owned.
Negative Product Points
Pouring water from the thermal carafe into the coffee maker prior to the brew is bothersome -- getting that last drop of water out of the carafe is tough. I have started using a separate water pitcher for this task. Overall -- no big deal at all..
I have tried several coffee makers over the previous few years on my quest for an excellent home brew. Every couple of months, I would purchase the latest new Krups/Braun/Starbucks drip coffee maker and take it home full of hope and excitement that this machine would be the answer to my prayers -- a good cup of coffee brewed at home. Each time -- disappointment would quickly arise after only a couple of brews -- these machines just did not get hot enough! "Bitter" disappointment (and also coffee) would always result. Then one day I discovered coffeegeek.com and read a very positive review of the MT500 by Mark Prince.. I quickly drove to the nearest Williams-Sonoma store and made my purchase. I was anxious to give this machine a try -- was this the end of my quest? I quickly unboxed the machine and readied for the first brew. The first cup was good -- but not knock-your-socks-off. I decided that my current bean stock needed a little re-fresh.. The purchase of new ultra-fresh coffee beans from Heine Brothers Coffee was the trick.. WOW! What a difference. This machine is pulls all the great flavors from the beans. This machine brews the best cup of coffee I've ever had and it's very simple to use. The thermal carafe handily keeps a pot of coffee hot for several hours, but good coffee rarely lasts that long in my home.
I purchased this unit from Williams-Sonoma. I liked the ability to touch and feel before my purchase. The WS crew was very helpful and even said that the MT500 was the only unit they offer for sale in their store that had not been "returned" by a disappointed customer. WS sure made me feel like I was on the right track..