Great workhorse, can grind for espresso with coaxing. A great bargain that makes you wonder why anyone would bother with a blade grinder.
Positive Product Points
This little workhorse and will get you through many years of grinding beans (any type - oily, dry, whatever) mostly for drip coffee. It is a bargain and makes the jump from the blade grinder reasonable.
Negative Product Points
A little messy, but I suspect that this isn't much different from other non-dosing grinders. Provides a consistent, well sized grind for many levels of coarsness (again, mostly drip - see below). A little loud, sure, but at this price it is certainly worth it. It's similar to a Cuisinart grind-n-brew machine.
I've used this machine for many years (going on 6) and I've not had to service or repair it once. I recently took my coffee passion to the next level and bought a Gaggia Classic, which highlighted some of the limits of this grinder. I found that the "espresso" settings do not grind the coffee finely enough to pull a shot that satisfies "the golden rule" (2 to 2.5 oz shot in 20-25 sec). My workaround is to push slightly on the top of the bean hopper just until I hear the burrs grinding one another, releasing slightly the pressure and maintaining it for the duration. I've pulled several dozen shots that easily matches the golden rule with tons of crema. I'm not shelling out $200-300 for the Gaggia MDF just yet - I'm VERY satisfied with my Braun. (Feb 07 update) Popped off the ring below the beans hopper and snapped off the limiter (small tab) that prevents from grinding finer than 0 on the dial. Now I get a nice grind at about 3 to 4 stops below 0 for my Gaggia Classic and am pulling even better espresso.
Just fine for department store retail - sometimes I find it's not worth asking questions since the staff rarely know more than my research has revealed. A friendly face greeted me at the cash.
Three Month Followup
Espresso - no problem once I broke off the tab from the ring below the bean hopper. Static makes it messy but it's consistent with little powder. Bought a new permanent basket-style filter drip coffee maker a while back too - grinder will grind to suit both this and the expresso machine.