To the point...I dont regret buying this machine and if cost was relative with the same circumstances today I would not hesitiate to buy it again.
Positive Product Points
Good Style, easy to use, easy to clean, makes very nice espresso drinks as well as americanos.
Negative Product Points
Steamer wand doesn't work that well with larger milk container. Wand has always dripped a little while in use. The warming tray really doesn't do anything, more of a gimmick.
I bought this machine just after the first Starbucks arrived in town, there are now have at least eight. The unit seemed high priced but in retrospect was reasonable for 250 dollars. I do not remember the exact date we bought it but judging by the cars I have gone through it is at least 10 to 12 years ago. In all that time the machine has never failed to provide me with a top notch americano or good espresso drink.
I have found it easy to use and trouble free, though a bit slow and of course I have the cups prewarmed with boiling water in order to maintain the heat, I too run a couple of cups of hot water to preheat the unit as mentioned by a previous responder.
To be fair we have always used soft water for almost the whole life of the machine I do believe that helps the reliability issues. We now are on a deep well with hard water, very tasty water but hard, so this may have an effect on its remaining life.
I have never had a shot that did not have a beautiful cremma, I use a burr grinder for all my grinds and now have a kitchenaid burr grinder which works as good as my old one did as far as the grind is concerned. If you are not in a hurry this is a good home use machine, though I dont doubt a lot of the newer machines will perform faster and easier.
Good buying experience, in those days Starbucks used to give lots of free perks if you bought their products, I got a free stainless thermos plus 1 free pound of coffee.
Three Month Followup
I have not to much to add at this point, it continues to work as I stated in my first evaluation. I did get a water purifying system for my coffee, not because I had a problem with the Estro, but because I had a problem with high calcuim levels plugging up my Bunn coffeemaker. The water system has taken care of the problem with the Bunn, so I do believe I should contunue to get good use out of the Buon Caffe for many more years to come.