This machine produces incredibly good tasting coffee, with any chlorine or other "off" tastes being removed by the charcoal filter. It is quick and very quiet as it is working. Programming is a cinch. It is totally intuitive and having done it once there is no need to refer back to the instructions. It comes with a "gold tone" filter, which means you don't have to use paper filters unless you choose to, but I wouldn't hesitate to replace it as soon as possible with a real Swiss Gold Filter (#4) to have less particulate matter getting through.
Negative Product Points
I only have two negatives, both fairly minor. The first is that it is not easy to fill the tank with water because of the relatively narrow opening. The shape of the machine is sleek and beautiful, but that comes at the tiny cost of just being able to dump water in without such a careful aim. As I said, this is a relatively minor problem, but noticeable compared to other machines I have owned where the opening was large. The other is that the clock is only readable when you are standing over it looking straight down. It would be nice if it could have been located to a more visible spot, but again, I suspect that the placement has to do with the overall aesthetics rather than ease of view. Neither of these two issues would prevent me from buying this brewer again because everything else about the machine is perfect.
This machine looks like a piece of art on the countertop! It is sleek, and highly polished, with a thermal carafe that does an excellent job of keeping the brewed coffee hot as long as it is a full pot. If brewing smaller than that I would definitely warm the carafe up with warm water before starting the brew cycle. There is a button designed for brewing the smaller volume of 3-5 cups, and it works exceptionally well at slowing down the brew cycle to extract full flavor from the coffee. Everything about the machine seems to be exceptionally well made, and it is easy to get replacement parts in the unlikely scenario of needing them down the line.
I purchased this at Williams-Sonoma, and had no unpleasant experiences but it was clear I knew far more than the salesperson about brewing good coffee. The salesperson actually tried to tell me that any temperature above 170 degrees brewed a good cup. I did say that 195-200 degrees was optimal, but left it at that. I knew what I wanted to buy, but if I hadn't I think I would have been steered to a different model that the store clearly has some tie in with (Krups).
Three Month Followup
Three months later and I am still very happy with my Capresso MT 500. It does everything right, and give full-flavored delicious coffee, while looking downright elegant on my kitchen counter. I have had no problems at all, and would recommend this machine to anyone looking for great tasting coffee delivered at the correct temperature.