Good machine, if you can find one for a good price. Good for small jobs.
Positive Product Points
Quick heat up time - due to small boiler Small foot print, takes up little counter space. Commercial size 58mm Portafilter. Large drip tray.
Negative Product Points
Not the best steaming power. Short steam wand after removing turbofrother. poor temperature stability. Aluminium Boiler
Bought this machine off ebay for a nice price, only $350 Aussie dollars. The machine normally retails for A$600.
Looks good out of the box, nice stainless steel construction, sturdy and heavy. Brushed Stainless steel finish prevents fingerprints, and has a classic look to it. Comes with silly plastic tamper which is too small, instruction booklet which was moderately helpful, a scoop, turbofrother, 2 baskets (single and double).
Quick to heat up. Instructions suggest 6minutes... but I find that 15minutes or so gives better temp stability and results.
PF is nice and big. chromed brass so it feels heavy. It really keeps it heat well. The handle is not circular but not square/rectangular either. I found that it fitted well in my hand, quite comfortable.
Buttons are nice and big and have a good feel to them. both steam and brew buttons have to be depressed to get water - a little confusing at first but OK once you get the hang of it.
Steamer is quick to heat up but can only really handle 2-3 cups at a time. The short steam wand is very irritating, wish I could change it to a longer one. The turbor frother I found to be hard to use and gave poor foam... I have compromised by taking just the bottom half of the frother off, and using the top nozzle bit, as an extension for the wand.
Drip tray is easily removable and very deep. Came with an extra plastic bit which goes just under the SS tray - I don't see the need for it.
Cup warmer actually works, but you have to wait a while to get cups up to temp. Easier to fill your cups with hot water.
Overall, I like this machine. Good for someone who makes 1-2 cups at a time. Struggles to do 4-6 cups. I would not pay full price for it though. I think you can get better machines for A$600. eg. Silvia for A$700, or Imat Junior for A$500. Both machines have larger brass boilers and better steaming ability.
For that reason, I have given it 4 for cost v value. Otherwise a good machine for small jobs.
Bought from ebay, no problems with vendor.
Three Month Followup
Still enjoying the Gaggia Classic. No complains so far.