Frugal automatic that is great for the kitchen or as a gift for a parent or 20+ kid. Nice pours and not tempermental.
Positive Product Points
Excellent price point, easily available at a steep discount for the non-digital version Extremely quick setup, can easily have your first decent cup of coffee from it within half an hour after signing for it from the UPS guy. Nice pour.
Negative Product Points
Can't produce significant volume Single boiler Inflexible steam wand Plastic housing
This is a great, inexpensive machine. Look around for discounts, use your angles, and you can easily find it under $600. With work, or if you were willing to buy a used machine (eww?), you could probably find it for a little more than half that.
I'll start off and say that it's not a machine I would buy if I were going to be making a lot of milk-based drinks with it. The steam wand, like so many on inexpensive machines, seems to be plumbed in by someone who never frothed milk before. This isn't the worst I've seen like this (the 3200 that I have at least pivots out to the side of the machine, so you could get a larger pitcher under there), but I learned on pro gear and it just feels off. It's also plastic and I feel like I'd break it after cleaning it the first time. :-)
Other than that, did I mention that it's a $600 super-automatic? I had pretty low expectations -- I just wanted that first shot in the morning so I could get out the door, but it's actually quite capable of pulling a nice, creamy shot of espresso. The controls (again, I have the analog version) are completely intuitive, and once I ran a few priming loads through the machine, it was producing a cup of coffee that I really enjoyed. The grinder was set to a default setting that didn't stink up the house while also making sure I wasn't just drinking hot water, but it's summer and not very humid, so I haven't had any major weather fluctuations that would test it.
The unit itself is silver and black plastic, so it's not completely offensive sitting on the corner of the kitchen counter, but it's also not a beautiful showpiece that will draw any attention at parties. I suppose I could hammer a copper shroud for it, but I'm just being silly. Maybe gold leaf. ;>
I bought it on Amazon and used Amazon Prime to get it second day. Due to other discounts (a9, etc.), it pulled the price down where it was very competitive with the best deals I've seen elsewhere. It shipped and arrived exactly when expected.
I haven't had any problems with it yet, so I haven't had a chance to test the return or warranty policies.
Three Month Followup
I'm still pretty happy with this for pulling a double shot first thing in the morning. I haven't had any problems yet.