Great starter machine for those not sure if they really want to dive in - also a good gift for the casual user.
Positive Product Points
Small size, draws a half decent shot, very inexpensive for a pump machine.
Negative Product Points
Frothing milk is tricky to accomplish.
This was my first machine (just graduated to a Gaggia Baby). I bought it based on reliability recommendations from folks in the local discount appliance store (people I know and trust). They indicated that they'd never seen a DeLonghi come back defective. The built in tamper is flimsy but likely to be adequate for an entry level machine. It is a trifle fussy on grind - don't go too fine or you'll cut off flow completely. It could brew a trifle hotter but I can actually get a small bit of crema with fresh beans and a good grind. Trick in frothing is to expell the water buildup and then wait 20-25 seconds before beginning frothing (allows a bit of extra pressure to build up). Seems to froth well only with a small deep pitcher (I use the 20 oz that has black handle extending from side) and only froths about 8-10 oz max. This was a great starter machine, has performed well for 8 months and has now been moved to my second apartment (where I live for only 8-9 days per month). I'm still learning on the Gaggia but can comfortably recommend this DeLonghi as a great buy at $80 or less. I've tried the cheap steam operated machines (e.g. Krups) and find this to be far superior and much easier to use.