good machine for the money, and pretty consistent.
Positive Product Points
Very easy machine to use, with good quality grouphead (read: heavy). good value for the money (I paid 300$ Canadian).
Negative Product Points
steam wand too short for only the smallest of pitchers, plastic housing a bit cheap looking, and the overall aesthetic isn't phenomenal, although pretty much on par with the rest of the class.
I bought this machine as it was the best-looking pump-driven machine I could find for a reasonable price.
It is very easy to use, and requires little maintenance. Especially nice is the self-priming pump. It heats up very quickly (around five minutes) although the better shots do come after it has been on for about an hour or so. Be careful when taking off the portafilter to pull your next shot, as this machine has that awful tendency to shower espresso EVERYWHERE if you don't first let the pressure release after pulling a shot.
At first I was using an old grinder my mother had given me, but for some reason it worked reasonably well, creating pretty consistent espresso with decent crema. I have since then bought my own grinder, only to find that its finest setting isn't fine enough. So now I am stuck buying pre-ground espresso every week until I can afford a bigger, better, dosing grinder. With the finely ground espresso this machine spits out great shots with thick crema every time. So, basically, be sure you have got a grinder that can make some really powdery stuff, or you will be out of luck.
Aesthetically, this machine isn't a nice looking at the FrancisFrancisX1, for example. but in my opinion beats out many of the super-square machines in its class. The drip tray fills up pretty quickly, but it isn't exactly difficult to dump it out! The cup warmer on the top is SMALL but works pretty well.
Overall, this machine works great for producing pretty consistent shots and is a very good value.
The customer service at Caban is phenomenal, especially seeing as they had to special order this one for me. They even called me two weeks later to see how I was enjoying it.