great starter machine that looks nice, but takes some patience to master.
Positive Product Points
Great looking machine, cleans up nicely, working well after one year
Negative Product Points
stock baskets choke easily, lots of vibration so cannot store cups on the "warmer"
This is a great starter machine. It makes nice hot shots quickly. the main problem as many have noted, is that the stock basket clogs very easily with standard espresso grind. You can still get good shots with a more coarse grind, but the puck is sloppy and wet and makes cleaning the grouphead a chore. The froth wand is easy to use, I have never tried the little tube that came with it, just ditched that thing right off.
I usually make a "long black", but will occasionally make lattes.
To get great shots, I replaced the basket with a Krupps basket bought on seattlecoffeegear, then I use my Peugeot hand grinder to make the beans a shade more coarse than espresso, but a shade more fine than sand. With this set up I have found that a lighter tamp pressure, much less than the usual 25-30lbs makes a nice tamp, pulls a great shot in about 15-20 seconds, with a really nice crema. The bonus is that the puck is relatively dry and the grouphead is much easier to clean.
It only took me about 9 months to figure this all out, and really came together only after I bought my hand grinder.