Amazing performance, quality, looks, and not to mention - price. I really do not foresee any "upgraditis" coming along any time soon!
Positive Product Points
-Amazing Steam -Up to temp in less than 10 minutes (although probably not too stable after only 10 minutes) -$25 no burn steam wand upgrade (2 hole tip that can be interchanged with a lot of options on the market, i.e. rocket's 4 pack of tips) -Huge water reservoir -Awesome looks - I have the black side panels (yes they are plastic, abs i think) -Very well built -steam and hot water knobs turn effortlessly
Negative Product Points
-To refill the water tank you have to take off the cups on the tray warmer -Not necessarily a negative point - but cooling flushes have been about 15 seconds for me (enough to preheat my cups) -When the machine has been on for a half hour, the water wand stays in place, but the ball joint has a lot less friction (probably b/c of the heavier water wand) -drip tray could be larger (i.e. wider)
A great buy at this price. If it was $1200, then I may be tempted to pay an extra 50-150 for another machine, presumably with a better case, larger drip tray, no burn steam wands, and maybe a better refilling (or plumbed) system.
But to be able to get into a HX system that probably equals the performance of other more expensive HX machines, can't complain.
I started with a pressurized PF on a Saeco Sirena, then moved up to a CC1. Loved it, but needed to make 2-3 lattes back to back quickly in the morning so dwelled over a used Oscar for about $650. Decided I wouldn't be upgrading anytime after upgrading to a HX, so decided to get the Cuadra for $995. Compared to the Oscar for 1050 and the BDB for 1050-1200 (depending on sales), glad I saved a little money and went with this. I really like the steam power over the BDB and the 'simplier' (non high tech) design. Plus I can descale my machine if need be.
Word of caution, I find myself 'bumping' into the machine a lot when using it, and getting a quick zap of heat. The machine gets hot and there is a lot of metal...so just be warned :)
Used goo gone to remove the sticky residue left behind from the stickers.
Awesome other than, apparently when you purchase a commercial machine from 1st-line.com you have to print out and sign the invoice (or warranty notice) and then either email/fax/mail it back to them before they start to process your order. Well in my case, I never received an email from 1st-line telling me about this. Order my machine in Thur, didn't hear anything on Monday, called in the afternoon and was told all of this. I never saw anything about this on their website, never got an email in my spam folder, did get a order confirmation though. Looked at the fine print and it states your order will be cancelled after 3 days if they do not receive your signed invoice back. Luckily I called and followed up.
On the plus side, once I called, they immediately emailed me the form to sign. I emailed it back, and they shipped it that day (mon). I received it on Friday (I'm in California). Please note, I had to sign for the package, so I stayed home from work to be around for UPS.