Bought it as an import model from italy, ca. 260 EU. Compared to my former machine, a Krups Maximo (see review there), this black chrome beauty does not only produce far superior espresso, it is also less messy (thanks to the solenoid valve). Given a decent grinder (I use the Solis burr grinder) and fresh coffee (I can get freshly roasted beans from a cafe nearby) it is not difficult to produce a very good cup. To master (hmm, or at least correctly use...) the machine, one should not rely on the very sparse, if not misleading instructions, but take a good look at web-based sources (like the alt.coffee newsgroup) as well.
If the looks of the machine are no concern, one might as well consider the Baby Gaggia, which has the same interiors, but plastic exterior - and is cheaper of course.