The machine heats quickly and makes a good espresso.
Negative Product Points
Not well designed and not very good for frothing milk.
I'm a cappucino fan and maybe (probably) it's all machines at this price, but it's not very good for frothing milk. First, a small note, the wand is too close to the machine and doesn't swing far enough away from the machine. I'm usually just making enough froth for one or two cups, so maybe my complaint doesn't apply when you're making a bucket of foam.
More importantly, it generates a burst of steam (heavy with water) for about 20 - 30 seconds and then the steam drops off to an unusable level. I don't get enough froth in that time. (Also, I use the wand naked, no three hole frother attachment.) If you close the valve and wait a short time, it will do the same thing when you reopen the valve (a burst of steam, then too weak a stream.) I thought the machine was defective, described it to Saeco who told me to ship it back for warranty work. I shipped the machine packed in some foam and old SF Chronicle pages. A warranty repairman called me and said that's just the way the machine works and he shipped it back (with the same crumpled Chronicle pages.) If you need more than 20-30 seconds of steam, you can juke the machine by letting the 20-30 seconds of steam play out, DON'T close the valve, and wait for the steam to rebuild, which it will even with the valve open. Again, if you just keep the valve open, it works. Of course you get a bunch of spray all over your countertop while you wait for the steam to rebuild. (Hey, if your machine doesn't do this and mine's defective, tell me.)
What a deal. On sale at Bloomingdales for $150. For taking out a Bloomingdales credit card, they chopped another 15% off the price and gave me a goody bag of dish towels, a kitchen timer, a mug, an umbrella (I kid not), a handful of mints, and a paring knife!