Cost for value is excellent for this product. Since it's a German-made machine, the instructions are specific, clear and easy to follow (providing one reads and FOLLOWS them...). I have yet to try using the steam wand, so can't address that at all. I cannot imagine that it will be too difficult - this is an easy machine to use, own and make good espresso with.
Negative Product Points
It seems that in order to get a really, really good espresso shot, one must experiment with tamp, grind, coffee brands, etc. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Don't count on using this to support yourself as a barista, or to make cappucino/espresso drinks for a small dinner party - it's simply too small.
I had one simple goal when I purchased this machine: to have good espresso, daily, consistantly. I live in Indiana, where one cannot simply walk to the corner cafe and pick one up on the way to work. The Krups Gusto fulfilled that need in spades.
This machine brings good espresso to the masses. It allows an amateur to experiment with some of the variables of creating a good espresso shot without having to skip a car or mortgage payment to fund a new espresso machine. Will this machine create good espresso? Absolutely. No doubt about it. I did it on my first attempt. This is especially true with good coffee - I suggest using Intelligentsia's Black Cat blend, although Starbuck's will work well too (and produce crema, etc).
This machine has no bells or whistles. Regardless of the plastic housing, I find this to be typical of most German designed appliances I have used in the past - solid, dependable, and a good value for one's money. The instructions, typical for a German product, are detailled and easy to follow. This machine will produce consistantly good espresso shots, of that there should be no doubt. I would buy another Krups machine again.
eBay is wonderful. I doubt I will ever buy a "new" espresso machine ever!