A good concept but you'll have to choose between quality and quantity of brew
Positive Product Points
The convenience is undeniable. The grinder placement (in a separate chamber from the brew housing) means that clogging and cleaning problems like those often encountered in other models like the Cuisinart Grind and Brew are eliminated. Also, the straight-to-filter feature eliminates the mess made by many burr grinders. Finally, the grinder is adjustable, you can pick (to a certain extent) the level of fineness you desire.
Negative Product Points
With this machine, you lack a good deal of control over how much coffee gets ground each time. Ultimately, it's difficult to get a full pot of coffee at any real strength. The burr grinder is also loud, but not more so than most blade grinders.
Like other coffee buffs, I really wanted to like this machine. A burr grinder coupled with a programmable coffeemaker meant that I could have freshly ground and brewed coffee. I liked the idea of being able to program the entire process. In the past, of course, I've had to choose--fresh coffee or convenience. This machine promised both.
To be fair, the Capresso does deliver to a certain extent. The burr grinder is calibrated to work on a timing mechanism. You want 4 cups of coffee, the grinder will grind away for a certain number of seconds. However, I found that the amount of coffee that resulted was inadequate to produce a brew of sufficient strength or flavor. The coffee wasn't bad, just weak. By doubling the amount of cups to request, (I put in 4 cups of water and requested 8 cups from the machine) I could get close to the strength of coffee I enjoy. However, the maximum amount the machine will grind is 10 cups worth of beans. So, if you want anything more than 5 cups of coffee, you will have to put up with a weaker brew. And I mean weak. You can see through this stuff.
Usability: If you enjoy that strength of coffee--or if you never brew more than 5 cups--the machine works just fine. Once you learn how to use it (and what to watch out for), it does what it says it will do. I just couldn't recommend it for serious coffee drinkers--fans of Starbucks and similar commercial coffee houses will be disappointed, particularly if they're after a full pot of coffee.
Cost: For the cost of this machine, you could get a reasonable burr grinder AND a programmable coffee maker that would serve you well. For those who HAVE to have their beans ground immediately before brewing, and I'm one of those people, you're likely to be disappointed. Perhaps Capresso will improve this machine, because the other aspects of it are great.
Sur La Table was fairly easy to deal with. I returned the machine and the manager asked me what I didn't like about it. When I explained the problem, he thanked me and said he just wanted to know what kinds of feedback he could pass along to the manufacturer. The only downside is that, since I paid with cash, I had to wait 3 weeks for the company to send me a check.