I like the way it heats up quite quickly. It seems to be fairly sturdily made. The water resevoir is large and can be filled from the top and the water level is somewhat visible without opening anything.
Negative Product Points
I don't like the pressurised porta-filter Lots of stuff to get dirty.
I would not have gotten this machine brand new, I would have spent the extra $100 or so to get a silvia. When I was offered the chance to purchase a barista, I was a bit unsure after reading the reviews on it. After using it I found that it is a pretty good machine, a vast improvement from my steam powerd Krups. I am not sure if I like the portafilter, lots of places to get quite dirty and encrusted with espresso residue. I always run a couple of ounces of clear water through after doing a shot. I have also found that a light tamp produces the best results.
I bought it sightly used from a friend, so my experience was good.
Three Month Followup
It has still been performing well. I can't complain much, when I consider the low amount that I have invested in it.