Beautiful too look at. Solidly built. Makes great coffee (see below).
Negative Product Points
It's expensive. You could probably get the same quality coffee for cheaper. But it's a work of art!
I'm talking about the latest 2007 model for ground coffee only. From what I've heard it's a great improvement on earlier models especially ones that use 'pods'. For example it's got a marine grade brass boiler now.
The angle of the steam wand makes it difficult to use a tall pitcher. The drip tray cover slides about a bit when you're cleaning it - better to take it off and wash it at the sink. Plastic spout isn't very nice and kept coming off the portafilter (until I realized how to put in on securely - just push it hard).
On the other hand it makes great coffee BUT ONLY WITH A GRINDER. I found that pre-ground coffee came out weak and with a thin crema that dissipated quite quickly. The grind wasn't fine enough and I had to cram loads of coffee in to get a half-decent shot - that made it hard to get the portafilter into the grouphead. Only Illy coffee (not very nice) was ground fine enough. But today I got the Dualit Grinder (a.k.a. Solis 166, SB Barista) and it made a WORLD of difference. It matches the X1 perfectly - the second-finest grind setting is a little too fine for the X1 and the shot takes too long. 3rd-finest works well. Amazing guinness-effect, great thick crema and great taste! Thanks to the dualit, I now don't need to put too much coffee in to get those amazing results.
Ordered it from John Lewis website - couldn't order when it was out of stock but they e-mail you when it's back in. I kept checking the website and found it was back in stock but I didn't get an e-mail. I bought one anyway for £325. Then, a few weeks later, I got an e-mail and it was being sold for £375!!! No wonder they didn't e-mail: I got a bargain! Arrived with box slightly damaged but the free tin of Illy took the strain instead of the machine.