Great unit for once or twice a day use if you can get it on sale.
Positive Product Points
This is a solid well built unit that has been working flawlessly out of the box. Works just as expected. Comes with a great cleaning tool and support video that actually did help.
Negative Product Points
The steamer is weak and needs to be cycled for better effects. The water tank is awkward to get out, you have to remove the whole drip tray assembly to slide it out. To add to the difficulty the water tube gets in the way.
I bought this unit for $100 off sale. Otherwise I would of spent just a little more money for a Rancilio. The main factor for buying the unit was cost (it was on sale!) and service. Any Starbucks store can service your unit (more to be seen on this one) so that was a big factor. That is a big factor since many other brands require that you will have to ship this across country for service. All in all, this is a distinct step up from the Krups Gusto and Bravo but it is still a mediocre unit. The steamer is a little weak and the wand is a little short. Other wise from that, it makes excellent espresso shots with either the pods or grind. It makes the perfect shot with the crema on top.
10 month follow up: I found a interesting feature. If you start to steam for 30 seconds, then turn it off for a minute, then the steam builds back up higher than before. This has helped the steaming quite a bit.
Buying this unit in any Starbucks store was very easy. The only drawback is trying to pay for it while everyone is trying to get their lattes.
Three Month Followup
I still have the same opinion after 3 months. I wish I saved my money and purchased the Rancilio unit. This unit consistently makes great shots even with old grinds but the steamer is weak. It is tedious to steam milk or soy.