If I had it to do over, I'd buy it again in a New York minute.
Positive Product Points
Attractive Well made Easy to use Steams great - lots of pressure Auto-grinds beans as needed Whole-Bean hopper holds 1/4 pound Makes great Coffee and Espresso! I'd have given it 10's but I figure nothing is perfect... but this machine comes close.
Negative Product Points
Pre-ground hopper is limited to one scoop/shot at a time. Instructions say not to add more than that. If you do, it makes a mess inside machine and could cause damage. It would be really nice if it could hold more than one scoop at a time. You're supposed to be able to use the steamer to get hot water, but it doesn't come out very hot. Our microwave is much better for heating water. A minor annoyance. Frequent (every couple of days) very small cleaning tasks like Empty grounds, Fill water tank, etc... Very minor.
This is a well made, easy to use machine that takes whole beans or pre-ground coffee. My wife and I drink a lot of coffee but not much decaf, so I keep regular whole beans in the main hopper and grind my own decaf beans to use in the pre-ground hopper as needed. With the push of a button, it makes extremely consistent espresso and coffee. Sure the price is high, but if you drink a lot of espresso, it will pay for itself in a few months with the money you save from not going to the espresso stand as often. Now I can make a perfect mocha or latte' without having to get in my car and go anywhere! If I don't want to wait for the milk to steam, even plain coffee is great with this machine. You can adjust the grind and shot size, but they're very good right out of the box. There is a button for 1 shot, another for a long shot, and another for a cup of coffee. Very easy to use. Pressing the shot button twice will give you a double shot. There are a few routine cleaning chores, but cleaning is easy. You must decalcify it every few months by running decalcifiers through the machine. Wait for the sales. It's well worth it. All in all, the best coffee purchase I've ever made.
The folks at Starbucks were very knowledgeable answering my questions about the unit. They have always been very helpful and friendly.
Three Month Followup
Well, it's been another 3 months and I still have nothing bad to say about the Italia Digital. Wow, for me that's saying something. I have had absolutely no problems with the machine. Since the day we bought it it has continued to work flawlessly. It's probably one of the few things I've purchased in my life that hasn't become an expensive paperweight within a few weeks. If you want good coffee and can stand the price, this machine is well worth it. We've discovered that the easiest way to get an Americano is to hit the "Coffee" button once and the "Long Shot" button once. Yields a 16oz doubleshot Americano. Fits perfectly in a travel cup and its really quick when you're in a hurry. Yum...