This Machine in my opinion is the best for the price range and the lifetime support!!!!
Positive Product Points
This Machine is built like a tank. It will last for years. I have had my Barista for 3 years and it has worked flawlessly. This Machine will pull shots as good as machines 3 to 4 times as expensive. The use of a non pressurized portafilter makes shots even better but takes a little more practice. The steam wand is very powerful and makes froth quickly. After my warranty was expired I dropped the machine on concrete by accident, this machine still worked but I cracked the tank and bent the machine. Starbucks gave me a brand new Machine even though it was my fault. They said they value their customers and sometimes that value will cost them money but in the long run a returning customer is worth it. Try to get that kind of service with Racilio Sylvia after the warranty is up.
Negative Product Points
Hard to see water level A little noisy
To get results that are amazing you must have a Burr grinder. If you get the blade grinder with the Barista as with all other machines you will often have espresso and often strong coffee but no consistancy. The Burr grinder is equally as important as the machine. You must also follow the directions and flush the machine prior to use after it has sat for over 1 hour. Coffee that has sat in the portafilter or milk in the steaming wand can quicky disflavor a good shot of espresso. It only takes a second to flush the machine after it has sat more than an hour. Make sure to use filtered water, you will definately taste the diffrence and prevent excessive mineral deposits and calcium build up in the machine. The non pressurized portafilter for $18.00 from Saeco is a great improvement as well as a handy backup. If you practice the tamp and perfect it the flavor can be greater than that of the pressurized portafilter. Lemon Juice that is pulpless put through the machine once a month keeps the pure taste flowing.
The best for the price!!!!! Please see above comment