If you're a Noob, seriously consider it. If you know what you're doing and looking for a budget machine as an alternate or one for the office, get it.
Positive Product Points
I feel this machine is a well built unit that can satisfy every need from the Espresso Newbie to an experienced Barista. It's easy to operate and forgiving enough for someone learning, and yet can produce quality shots good enough, for someone who knows what they're doing, to enjoy. Having been into the guts of this machine already "exploring", I find it to be well laid out and easy to work on (for something of it's size, anyway).
Negative Product Points
Milk frother. These stupid pastic wands are useless IMHO. Why do you have to spend this much money on a machine only to find the first thing you should do is replace the wand with another (competitors) brand???
Steam knob is a bit "weak". Be careful you don't twist too hard. I've already replaced it once.
This was my 3rd machine, after the Krupps steam machine my wife bought me (and shortly returned) and a Miss Audrey that crapped out after a week. I liked the Audrey, but that seemed to be a bad sign.
So, already having a little knowledge the Classic was a fairly easy machine to learn on. It didn't crucify your cup as a penalty for a wrong grind or an out-of-whack tamp pressure. The quality of the coffee indicated you did something wrong, but it was still passable.
It does require a little knowledge with the temps of the boiler and grouphead, and of the "Dead Zone", but in time, these become an automatic thing, like glancing at the second hand on the watch every time you flip a switch.
This machine warms up quickly and with a little cheating on the steam switch, you can push it a little to a 5 minute warm-up.
There are 3 switches on this, Power, Steam and Brew. Easy to use, easy to figure out, hard to screw something up.
The instructions that came with it were reasonable, but again, I had read plenty on all common machines, so I could have possibly run the machine without them. Mine was missing the CD for some reason.
The Classic isn't nearly as finicky as some other machines, so is a good machine for someone to learn on. It doesn't have the Temp or the grind / tamp issues. Almost any decent quality bean ground in a reasonable grinder and tamped close to right will produce a drinkable cup.
The bad thing was the steam wand. This thing is great at blowing circus bubbles, but not much good at anything else.
Good. Semi-auto machines are a rarity at stores in this area, so I didn't have much choice. I basically knew what I wanted, and the guy took me to his store eating area where he had a Classic set up and showed me how easy it was to use.