Not made in China. Solid construction for many years of use and every replacement part can be ordered. The machine demands users complete involvemtent. It looks great on the counter top and functions equally well.
Negative Product Points
This machine is quirkey and every detail must be paid attention to, It may be weeks before your first great cup.
So I came home from Europe bummed out about all the great things we enjoyed that we wouldn't get at home. I decided that espresso would not be on of these things and did some research. Against the recomendations of some this is the machine I chose. My wife supported the idea thinking that I would learn to make capicino for her which I still have not.
I found a machine on eBay and bought it for about $350 (including $50 "actual" shipping from overseas). Through trial and error I learned everything is a variable.
To start, a full tank of water works best. I use filtered water and a blend of sparkling water if available. Turn it on until it sings the shut it off and wait for the preasure to go down so only the leaver is pushing the water. Pulling an empty shot to heat the machine and cup is a good idea.
Then put in the basket. Tamp and grind is critical and can be done only by feel.
Pull the shot.
If you think you can hadle all this just after waking up in the morning, then you may be able to commit to an expensive machine that will last a lifetime.
After dealing with Chris's Cofee and other vendors, I would have perfered to bought it through them than taking my chances on eBay.
Three Month Followup
Still trying to make the worlds greatest shot, but have come a long ways. This machine requires you to adjust to it as opposed to the other way around. Your reward is better coffee more often. I have since purchase a mini mazzer grinder and wounder how I got by without one. I think my next step will be to find a better quality of coffee I can use on a daily basis. Contrary to my critics, I have never regreted spending so much on the machine(s). This machine has been a great source of pride and I will continue to enjoy it even after the last of my investment portfolio is down the tubes!