The BAR29 is a good machine if you are on a budget and can find one cheap. Better coffee than the famed Krups Novo Compact.
Positive Product Points
Strong pump, good frothing capability, nice water gauge. Warms up fairly quickly.
Negative Product Points
Cheap brittle plastic case. Large footprint. Steam for frothing take a little while to build up.
When my Krups Novo Compact died, I needed a replacement machine quickly. I wanted to go for a big upgrade but needed time to do my research. So I checked out uBid and bought one rufurb‘ed for only $45 to tide me over while I did my espresso homework.
Initially, I was disappointed as my shots were not as good as the Krups Novo Compact (by the way the Braun KMM30 has been the companion grinder for both machines). After about a week or so, as if by magic, my shots were money. Nice crema and the shots were significantly better than my old Krups. I usually drink espresso but do make cappucinos for my girlfriend and I can say that the frothing is much better than the Krups. Really nice thick, sugar supporting froth.
Overall, I was surprisingly pleased by this machine. When I bought my Krups years ago I checked out the newsgroups and they all raved about the Novo Compact and sort of crapped on DeLonghi, so my expectations were really low for the BAR 29 but it turned out to house the Krups Novo Compact. The case on the DeLonghi is really cheap though, the plastic tabs and hinges are just waiting to be cracked off when one removes the drip tray or opens the glove compartment with a little too much zeal. Mine don‘t have to wait anymore, they are broken (I think that I‘ll try to repair the broken plastic with JB Weld). However, the portafilter and grouphead appear to be first rate quality. Nice and heavy chrome plated brass. Superior to the Krups gruppo.
The DeLonghi doesn‘t have the nice aesthetic design and durable resilient plastic of the Novo Compact but the DeLonghi makes a much better shot of espresso and can froth like a mother. If you are on a budget and looking for a sub $100 refurb don‘t overlook this gem (at full retail of $240msrp, I‘d definately look elsewhere though like the lower end Gaggias).