Mr. Coffee has engineered this machine to be solid and idiot proof. I can't see how they can do it for $59 and make a profit.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use, very forgiving Doesn't leak even if you Choke the grind Vertical steam wand ideal for surfing the hole (without enhancer attachment) Some storage on cup warmer Sturdy plastic well assembled and tight.
Negative Product Points
Porta filter basket very tight to seat when gasket is new. Unit's light weight requires a hand to prevent unit movement while locking porta filter. Water reservoir holds ~32oz but is hard to slide open and tilts down while filling. 1/2 shot glass of crema but lasts only seconds
This machine has since been retired but still runs after using it for 2 years from Sept 2005 through July 2007. I received good results with this machine using my own roasted beans. I never had any trouble with this machine. First thing in the morning I would extract a 25 second double espresso in its non-pressurized filter basket and experience good results. The crema coated the sides of the empty cup just like the big boys. It quickly became a good friend. I put a mark on the steam valve at the point of sealing to avoid over tightening it and it never leaked. I could get good milk crema but not with the finest of bubbles like you get at Pete’s. The coffee crema it produced dissipated quickly, more quickly than my current $89 Classic Concepts CC1812. It can make crema with the Mr. Coffee’s un-pressurized filter basket that will support the granulated sugar as it soaks up the coffee then the sugar sinks like the Titanic to the bottom. However, the Classic Concepts has other more egregious flaws than the Mr. Coffee. The Mr. Coffee did however extract a good cup with vanilla tiger stripes and all. I found it to be sturdily built. It even gave me a God shot once in a while. The ECMP40 has now been replace by the ECMP50. If it is as reliable I would definitely buy one.