An excellent machine as a starter if you think you want to try something without forking out huge amounts of cash. Or for those who have a tighter budget you can't go wrong.
Positive Product Points
Takes up minimal bench space. Relatively easy machine to learn on. For a plastic body it actually looks okay, not great, but not bad. Plus all the typically good things about Gaggia machines at this level such as a commercial size brass portafilter, quick warm-up time, and easy to see reservoir.
Negative Product Points
It's a plastic body. Also the 'Turbo Frother" is terrible, just take the end off for a reasonable single hole steam outlet. If you can be bothered, replace it with a Sylvia wand. Steam power is good, but not for all that long so only small amounts of milk can be steamed at a time. Drip tray works well enough, but it has a small capacity.
I bought my Evolution second hand on an online auction website here in New Zealand a few months ago. It is nearly 9 years old, but has had little use and is actually in quite good condition. The fact that it has a full plastic body would have most people thinking that it's not built to last. But I guess my one is proof that if you look after it theres no reason you can't get many years out of it. Of course even if you don't break it, plastic always looks older sooner. I'm a newbie to home espresso, but I've been converted to coffee-geekness so I've been reading up and studying how to make good espresso online. I've found it quite a good machine to learn on and it didn't take me long to start getting some really good shots out of it. Now that I know how to use it I can get consistently good coffee. I don't drink milk however and have only used the steam wand a couple of times so I can't really comment too much on that. All I can say is that the froth aider is no good, don't use it. Also I have frothed some really nice microfoam once so I know that it is possible with some practice. There are two things that I think are key to getting good espresso from this machine. Obviously freshly ground coffee that is fine without being dust is always important, as is an even tamp. The first of the two things I always do are to flush some water through the group before filling my portafilter to bring all parts up to temperature. Then after that turn the steam switch on just for a few seconds which gets the boiler to heat again. Then fill your portafilter, tamp, and hopefully you get a great shot
Good - 2nd hand machine in very good condition for just NZ$100 through an online auction.