Great cup of coffee in a nice-looking maker with a few flaws, but nothing serious
Positive Product Points
makes an excellent cup of coffee without the all-to-common pitfalls of most automatic drips; nice aesthetics, mostly dripless carafe, price is excellent; nice features (timer); good speed in making that all important first pot of coffee in the morning.
Negative Product Points
some of the trade offs for the price are disappointing: carafe is glass, but glass is thin; plastic brew basket is thin; a goofy design for the water reservoir lid (opens towards you instead of away, so you have to be a pretty good shot with the water or move the maker around).
For the money, you can't go wrong on this one. We have been drinking coffee made with our Bodum Santos electric vac pot, but after wearing one out completely, and the second suffering from both leaks and a cracked upper chamber before even 3 months old, I threw my hands up in frustration. While my favorite coffee in the non-espresso realm is made on the stove top in my old GE vac pot with a Cory glass rod filter, my neurons don't fire efficiently enough first thing in the morning (and my patience is thin) to make this my first pot for every day.
Visiting coffeegeek.com, I narrowed the candidates to the Technivorm and the Presto. Then came the price comparisons: Technivorm: $180-$220 (truly breathtaking); Presto: $35ish at Target. Being wary of any drip maker, $45 seemed like a more reasonable risk!
First off, we found that the first few pots had a huge plastic taste in them; but after that, there have been no off flavors. I recommend running 5 full pots of water through the machine to combat that. I'll be replacing the flimsy-I-can't-believe-anyone-would-reasonably-belie ve-that-this-is-sufficient-quality-for-a-brew-basket with a gold filter; the handle is too small, and it is incredibly flimsy. The design of the carafe is nice (although some complain that you can't get your hand in it to clean it--use a brush or a dishwasher!), but my complaint is that the glass is so thin that I assume it will chip in no time if just the slightest careless. Mostly dripless pouring--either don't pour too fast, or lift the lid as you're pouring if you're a speed demon (on this front, it beats my old Krups (before I understood coffee better) carafe hands down). The power switch requires pressing twice to go to manual (just once to be on timer; a perk that I rarely use, but is handy when the parents are visiting).
But the coffee is the main attraction. It must brew at the proper temperature, as everyone seems to observe, because the cup is deep, rich and quite tasty. It is close to the vacuum pot in a lot of ways. For the price, even if it lasts only a year or so, this is a recommended pot.
I would recommend to the Presto-Powers-That-Be to substitute a thermal carafe for the glass and charge an extra $5. :)
Easy--ordered from Target on-line; came a week before the estimated delivery date! yahoo!