great machine that gives you back what you put into it
Positive Product Points
1) stable temperature/pressure 2) rotary motor w/ plumb-in or tank option 3) well-built
Negative Product Points
1) funny-looking plastic legs (would buy upgrade parts, if available) on an all-stainless/brass/copper unit 2) 30-minute warm-up (HX requisite)
I've owned my Alex for a little over a year now, and it's been serving me great espressos and cappuccinos on mornings where I have the time to make them (I can't get it down to a snap like many of the people on these sites seem to be able to - it takes me time to pack the portafilter and a bit of time to clean up & backflush afterwards). but when I do make them, I'd say they are much better tasting than what I recall having at cafes in Berkeley and San Francisco during my college years (and that's using low-fat milk, as opposed to half-&-half like one particular cafe would use), and that's also due to home-roasting, which I highly recommend (get fresh coffee whenever and in however much quantities you want).
My Alex started leaking (and wouldn't stabilize it's pressure/temperature) a couple of months ago, and I contacted Chris Coffee for some help. Chris was very helpful and my Alex is running fine again. As it turned out, if you have hard water, you need to demineralize your machine at least annually or something like this happens. I also clean with Cafiza espresso cleaner every few days, and the espresso taste is clean, with no bitterness.
So after a year's ownership of the Alex, I'm a satisfied customer, both with the machine and with the supplier. I would buy from Chris Coffee again, as they've got very competitive prices and the service to back it up.
I bought my Alex with some accessories from Chris Coffee, as this was my first "real" espresso machine. The transcontinental US delivery was pretty swift for something so heavy (72 lbs.). As mentioned above, Chris Coffee has competitive pricing and they back their products well after purchase, so you can rest assured regarding the investment you've made. I would recommend them and buy from them again.