I went from no experience to consistent, very nice drinks in about a month - still learning, and improving, but this machine makes quality espresso possible.
Positive Product Points
Very well designed and manufactured. Consistent results allow complex learning. The machine is equally capable of making one or one hundred shots and great steaming. Striking chrome and nice handling.
Negative Product Points
Not cheaply priced. Takes up quite a bit of space, especially when you factor in the grinder, beans, and accessories.
Having had no previous experience at all, this was a bit of a leap. There was definitely a learning curve - as there would be for any machine. But the Anita allows you to get excellent results and makes it all fun and very tasty. In less than two months I threw several espresso parties at work for about 100 people at each event. We had a blast. The coffee was great. Lots of people had never tried a cappuccino and were amazed - and came back for seconds and thirds. I was amazed at the confidence level with which I could approach this. The sustained ability to steam and shoot is flawless. The predictability of results is solid - a testament to the temperature control, delivery design for both steam and the head/filter, and the very well manufactured unit. And making a pair of shots at home is just fine too.
I've learned to pay lots of attention to cleaning the machine including the reservoir tank. It's not an onerous task, just part of the drill. The steam wand gasket gave out quickly - teflon tape does work. I had one bad moment in the middle of an event when I refilled the tank and nothing happened. A quick wiggle of the tank settled it into place and the water flowed.
Easy. Web reviews and customer comments were both reliable and instructive.