Great starter, paired well with the Solis SL70. Grinds finer than one would originally think.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use. Easy to dial in. Vertical drop of ground beans. Pulse button for grinding straight into filter basket.
Negative Product Points
Hopper and outside bur set seem very "loosey-goosey". Would feel better if they were tighter in their respective housings. Some static issues, but not too bad. Not the easiest to clean.
Having only had this machine for about a month, it is dificult to give it a full review. I can say this: Initially I was concerned about its ability to grind fine enough for espresso, but having read the reviews and the detailed look here at CoffeeGeek, I decided to give it a try. I did step up from the Maestro to the Plus. I have to say, if anything, it grinds too fine. It can easily clog the SL70 I'm using when it is dialed down to or past the espresso setting and the French Press setting looks more like drip than anything. In that regard I am very pleased. Is it the best one you can get? No, but it is a great place to start and fits the budget nicely. It works very well with the Solis SL70 and that's good enough for me (for now) :-).
Baratza is great to deal with! I haven't had enough of a problem with my machines to really put their customer service to the test, but no complaints thus far.
Three Month Followup
Three months of outstanding performance and ease of use! I finally trained my wife to not dial the machine up and down to go from drip to espresso and the Maestro has proven a good match to the Solis. I am considering a new machine so we'll see if it can cross over.
One Year Followup
I have since moved on to a dosered Rocky due toa machine upgrade. The Maestro couldn't grind finely enough to the new machine. However, I sold it along with the SL70 to a friend of mine and they both (the machines and the friend) are still chugging right along. The Maestro appears to be the perfect match for the Solis line of espresso machines. I still use them as this friend and I work together and he brought the machines in to work to make drinks there.