All in all I love my Santos and I highly recommend it, and excellent first vacuum pot!
Positive Product Points
Widely available (making finding parts much easier, just contact Bodum)
Exceptional brewing method for rich excellent flavored coffee with all the oils and none of the sediment
Nice size for a few coffee drinkers
Overall pretty good
Negative Product Points
Ok these are minor gripes and more just observations:
Plastic handle is a little flimsy but has never been a serious problem for me
Funnel holder stand is really pointless (but it does work fine); I like to rinse the top globe immediately after brewing so the grounds do not dry on the glass
Being the typical coffee hobbyist I selected to get a Bodum Santos out of curiosity and I'm glad I did. It has proven over the last 2-3 years to be a worthwhile purchase producing excellent unique flavored coffee. I've not had any significant problems with mine. Lets break down my ratings for the categories above:
Quality of Product: 8
Bodum does well in this regard. This brewer doesn't appear to have any significant design or build issues. Yes it's glass and one must be careful in use but the trade off is that glass will never taint your freshly brewing coffee like some metal can potentially. Assuming of coarse you keep the brewer clean.
The filter disk is quite handy but is plastic. Some may shy away from plastic but honestly my filter disk is as good as the day I bought the brewer and it hasn't affected my coffee at all. I have tested my Santos against my antique McKee vac pot, which uses a Cory glass filter rod, and the coffee is as good as the Santos.
The handle on the carafe seems a little light and with a full pot of coffee the handle will flex just a little when pouring but this hasn't been a problem for me at all. The addition of a stopper to cap off the carafe between cups is a nice feature and seems to help keep the coffee hot while I sip my first mug.
Here is where the Santos shines; you use it just like any other stovetop vacuum brewer. There is no problems here and clean up is a snap. Using the Santos could not be easier. The included brewing instructions seem a good starting point. I like to use a coarse grind to assure the coffee being sucked back to the bottom globe but beyond that it's easy enough.
Cost vs. Value: 8
Not too bad here either. Forty five to fifty bucks can be a little steep but for what it is it seems fair. Deals can be had on used items from others of coarse.
Plastic handle mentioned above and silly funnel holder takes a hit here. But like I've said these are very minor and haven't posed a problem for me in using or enjoying this brewer.
Bodum has done well in producing a modern vacuum brewer. The Santos does exactly what it should and should offer the user excellent coffee for a long time with proper care and handling. All in all I love my Santos and I highly recommend it, and excellent first vacuum pot!
Bought from amazon (well wife did to give this to me for Christmas) and all went well.