This just may be the last coffee machine you ever have to buy!
Positive Product Points
Built to last for a loooong time. Easy, easy, easy to service. Best technical support anywhere. Only regret is that we didn't get it sooner!
Negative Product Points
We had one problem (discussed below), but the full-color manuals available on the Internet for this machine made a self-repair (with tech guidance and a new part) a breeze. Other more technical reviews discuss a couple minor "negatives," but we never even noticed them because the "positives" were so strong.
We owned a Capresso automatic for 4 years. Repairs were routine (every 6-9 months) and expensive, not to mention the loss of a month of use every time we sent it in (ka-ching, ka-ching). When it came back from repair the 5th or 6th time, we just couldn't get a good latte out of it and finally got fed up! A sledge hammer doesn't make those automatics work any better, but I got a lot of satisfaction out of it.
After spending weeks on the Internet researching various other automatics and alternatives (I truly became a coffee geek), we turned to the LaSpaziale S1 from Chris Coffee. Our choice was based on reading hundreds of reviews, and our desire to get a well-built machine that was easy to service without sending it all the way across the country (you need that when you live in Montana). We've had only 1 problem in the year of ownership... and a Chris Coffee technician knew immediately over the phone what was wrong (boiler thermocouple), and replacement was a snap! [I understand that part is upgraded on the new machines.]
Frankly, I hate to "gush" about any product. But after a year of everyday use, our best endorsement is the decision to order a 2nd Spaziale for another vacation home. Even though we use this home just a few months out of the year, we just can't get along without our morning LaSpaziale lattes -- which beat anything we've ever had from the Starbucks-type specialty shops.
Being an engineer, I browsed and searched every coffee forum and web site on the Internet before buying this machine. We feel our research paid off. This is certainly not the only "excellent" machine out there, but an excellent machine without first-rate technical support is just mediocre. We've only had to call Chris Coffee a couple times over the past year, but got through immediately to a knowledgeable technician who answered our questions. The machine cost a fairly expensive $1900... but the service and support is priceless!