Bottom line, the espresso is just ok. The price for the performance is not ok.
Positive Product Points
Good build quality, but I can't say how well it would hold up.
Negative Product Points
Does not make real espresso.
Ok, this is one expensive machine. At this price I expect alot. If you have ever tasted a really good espresso shots, you are going to be really disappointed here. Forget about god shots. The built-in grinder can't grind fine enough. This leads to shots that are pulled too fast around 9-10secs. You can find some improvement using an external grinder. The shots that I pulled were too weak for my taste. The creama was plentiful, but flavor is first. The milk frothier is pretty good and a good supply of steam is there. I found it difficult to do micro form though. I thought the hot water disperser was slow.
Ease of use is pretty good once you get the hang of the interface. I did have to read a manual through a few times, which I was not expecting to have to do. This is a super auto machine after all and I've pulled alot of great shots on many semi-auto machines. For $1800 you would think it would be idiot proof.
I picked this up at Williams&Sonoma. They were easy to deal with and took my return without any trouble.