Really good features for the money but not as high on the reliability or service.
Positive Product Points
Large water well, cup warmer, bar meter--lots of pressure, fast on the steamer cause of dual thermo block. Makes a great up of espresso--really nice crema.
Negative Product Points
Noisy (but aren't they all); would like for it to warm up faster
So, did a lot of research on features, et al when I first decided to buy this one to replace my old workhorse Capresso. Really wanted the warming feature and read up on all the reviews before selecting this one for the features, price value and looks. It makes a great cuppa of java every time. I use it about 3 times a day, every day.
The downside is that it doesn't always work. The first one arrived and I had to get Amazon to replace it, which they did very fast. Nice. Now 15 mos. later and 2 mos. past the 1 yr warranty, the water doesn't come thru the filter holder. Have to send it back to their US rep which happens to be in New Jersey (I am in California) bummer. In comparison, my rinky dink old Capresso never broke down. I wish there was an extended warranty that I could have bought for this. The other lesson learned is that before you buy, find out where their repair centers are--especially when you buy a European model--you will end up paying beaucoup bucks in shipping costs ($52) and by the time you pay for its return, you could of bought a new machine. But I am addicted, so what can I do?
Amazon was great on the first go-around, no questions asked. The Briel service center in US is somewhat lacking in customer service skills. I've called them several times and usually they are quite annoyed that I even called.
Three Month Followup
After a few months of use from the replacement one, it would not push water thru one day. After being on the phone with their contracted service center, they couldn't trouble shoot it so I had to ship it back to New Jersey--only to find out the problem was calcification. I could have just run a solution of water and vinegar thru it and that would have been fine. Now $125 plus shipping later, I get the machine back.
I was surprised there was calcification--I mean, I only run the machine twice a day and it's not like I am running an espresso shop. Plus, I only use filtered water in the tank. So, lesson learned--decalcify your machines regularly, and when you buy, find out where the service center is cause it gets costly (not to mention time) to ship your machine back and forth.