Gaggia is the original and as far as I'm concerned the best machine.
Positive Product Points
Beautiful design - makes great espresso.
Negative Product Points
Plastic tamper too small.
After using virtually every other kind of inexpensive home espresso maker - Vesuviana, Moka, Braun cheapo pressure, I finally broke down and bought a semi-pro machine. At $399.00 this was a major investment for me - but it was more than worth it. I've had no problems with this guy - only shot after shot of crema-topped espresso. The manual says to allow 6 minutes for it to get hot enough to make espresso, but I usually give it twice that time. Ignore the rubber "perfect crema device" and grind and tamp your shots correctly to produce excellent crema. I can easily get 25 sec doubles that almost don't need sugar they are so sweet. I've since bought a better grinder (see review of the Gaggai MDF) and a HW Precision home roaster, and now my only problem is sleeping at night.