Nice looks and solidly built. Makes good espresso if your materials, tools and techniques are there.
Positive Product Points
Compact size, all-metal body and parts, brass boiler and innards, quality finish, fast heating cycle.
Negative Product Points
Small space between portafilter and drip tray makes using anything but small cups difficult so using a larger milk pitcher is also difficult, water reservoir holds enough for perhaps 4 drinks, instruction manual difficult to understand, messy to use with ground coffee - water in ground coffee portafilter after pulling shots.
I got this machine at Williams Sonoma for $214 with tax. It was half price, so I had to get it. The machine did not come with a ground coffee portafilter as it is made for the ESE pods. Purchasing this added $38 to the price. So far, most of the difficulty with this machine has been the learning curve. It requires you learn the proper technique to get nice crema and frothed milk. I own a low end la pavoni burr grinder that will not grind fine enough. Now I am researching grinders hoping to find one that matches the look of the X3 and grinds properly.
Francis Francis! has developed a special tamper for this machine that should be available in 3-4 months. They claim this will eliminate the soup of coffee grounds and water in the ground coffee portafilter after pulling a shot.
Machine does drip water, but this is supposed to happen according to the operation manual.
I get varying results with this machine - probably due to my inconsistent technique.