Be advised that I have used some of the same review verbiage as "Product rater" J. R. Oldroyd used dated Jan. 26, 2006 due to the fact that he is absolutely correct in all that he wrote. If you didn't read his, read mine, because you need to know!
I bought my machine 2 yrs ago (refurbished, still $499), and thought then that it was a good deal. With my experience and knowledge, I realize that this machine is not for making the serious espresso like those made in baristas in Sicily, Italy, where I spent 3 years drinking the "best".
The C1000 is a great, general purpose strong-coffee maker, though. It grinds, doses, tamps and pours, all with the push of a button. You can adjust the water volume to give you a shot-sized amount, or a cupful. Hold the brew button longer for selecting about 9g of coffee (a good amount for a single shot), about 12g (ok for a 1.5 shot) or about 15g (a bit low for a double shot). You fill the machine up with water and beans, turn it on, and in about 3-4 minutes it's ready to make coffee. Push the button and 30 seconds later, there's your coffee. If you want frothed milk, turn a knob and 45 seconds later you can froth. It has a wand designed for dummies to use, which sucks air in from the top and requires no skill at all to froth.
This type of system is WRONG when it comes to making good espresso. Filling the machine with beans and leaving them there for days pretty much guarantees you're using stale beans much of the time. The grinder, while it does have an adjustment, can't be set fine enough for espresso. The machine doesn't heat hot enough for proper espresso extraction. The "crema" is not what it should be, and the shot is not hot enough. I no longer think of this as an espresso machine. It's really a "strong-coffee" machine.
You can pre-heat the cup and pull a blank shot through the system before you brew to pre-heat the coffee pathway, and that helps some, too. But the fact that the brew chamber isn't hot enough means the shot doesn't extract properly, the crema will be poor, and the resulting aroma and flavors will be wanting. Another concern is the fact that it's hard (in fact almost impossible) for you to reach the internal brew chamber and grinder surfaces that come into contact with coffee. Old coffee will build up and can't really be clean away. The machine does have a program that washes the brewed coffee pathway with soap, then rinses, but there's no means to clean the grinder or brew chamber. Thorough cleaning of old coffee grinds and coffee oils are another important factor in making good coffee.
My wife and I like the C1000 for cappuccinos and for regular cups of coffee where the exactness of the bean freshness, temperature, cleanliness, etc are less critical factors.
If you're not after ultimate espresso quality, or your tastes haven't gotten to that point yet, or you can't be bothered with a system, which demands you learn proper barista techniques, this machine's for you. When your tastes and interests mature, you'll want something else.