Great machine if you can find an older model around...if not check out the competition or spring for the extra bucks and buy a Classic or a Sylvia.
Positive Product Points
This review refers to the new model available as of about September 2003.It has the same guts as the Gaggia Classic but at a very slightly lower price. With proper use it can make a great espresso.
Negative Product Points
It is now made out of cheap thin plastic, unlike the previous models. With the previous models you could brew directly into a mug or cup up to 4" high .... which is great if you make Americanos, but now no more. The weight is too light now, and you really have to hang onto the unit to snug the PF in place.
I used to be a real Baby fan, and actually preferred it to the Classic. The previous model (Mellinnium) had a short steamer tube that was really designed to be used with the useless external frothing device that came with the unit. In fact it worked much better with an aftermarket panerello. This setup is what is standared on the latest model. This allowed you to not only brew into a mug up to 4" high, but also allowed you to swing the bare steamer tube over the cup for adding water. If you make a bunch of Americanos it was the best system on the market.
The new and supposedly improved model, is far from an improvement. Instead of the really thick plastic casing, which gave the unit a heavy feel and with it's beautiful lit up panel behind the switches, an elegant and sleek look, the new unit is made out of flimsy thin plastic, and is much lighter. The elegant panel is no longer there. You can actuall feel the whole assembly flex slightly when you lock in the PF. The picure on this paage is of the older model, and not the new one.
Th PF on the older model had two short spouts built in. The new model has a more conventional loolkng commercial type spout system, which is in many ways an improvement, but cuts down the maximum mug height by about 3/4".
Although it can still make a great cup of espresso, it seems overpriced because of the flimsy construction. I guess since Saeco bought out Gagga, many of the models will now see this sort of cheapening. I was lucky enough to find a used older Baby Melinium, and it now sits on my counter next to my Classic.
As usual WLL was a pleasure to deal with, even when my son in law returned it to them.