I've owned the Zojirushi Fresh Brew, Capresso MT500, and many, many more. I like a few, but the Moccamaster is the best cup of coffee, hands-down. Its few shortcomings pale next to the thing it produces- the best cup of drip coffee available.
First, use a gold filter- NOT paper.
Second, use bottled or good well water-NEVER chlorinated tap water
Third, buy whole bean coffee from excellent roasters like Ritual, Intelligentsia in Chicago, Blue Bottle in SF, Stumptown in OR, etc.. Why spend three bills on a coffee machine and feed it second-rate roast+beans like Starbucks? The Moccamaster is not a 'miracle machine'- mediocre grind in- mediocre brew out. The limiting factor of your results using this coffeemaker will be the beans, NOT the drip.
Fourth, disregard the 'review' by Andrew Grant. Regard the other 65 reviews on CoffeeGeek, the reviews of everyone from Cooks Illustrated to Amazon.com instead.. hell, disregard *mine*... just forget *any* SINGLE 'review' that's 50% less favorable than the other 90% of HUNDREDS of very positive reviews of the Moccamaster.
Everyone's qualified to drink coffee, but apparently not everyone's qualified to evaluate coffee makers with competence. Look not at the individual review, but what MOST of the reviews flag as good and bad- that's what you'll be most likely to share as an experience should you buy a Moccamaster Thermal. For example- the 'Very poor water spray head design' is one 'bad' point in Mr. Grant's review. The rest of Mr. Grant's review is equally inaccurate.. What makes no sense is that the spray head's been designed NOT to evenly 'spray' the grounds. The grounds are 'flooded' by the Technivorm, THEN the drip hits the carafe. There IS no 'sprayhead'. There's a simple, stainless-steel multi-orificed 'watering' bar that is designed to allow water into the brew cone with merely adequate coverage of the grounds. The design of the Moccamaster revolves around FLOODING the grounds in 200+ degree water, NOT 'spraying' the grounds like it's watering Yankee Stadium. Ignorant, wrong premise- ignorant, wrong conclusion. THAT'S why some 'reviews' of the Moccamaster are to be taken lightly.
In over three years of three-times daily use over more than a thousand days and nights, I've never had ONE malfunction, issue, breakage or bad cup of coffee. The coffee tastes as great now as the first cup I brewed out of the box. The $200.00 Baratza Virtuoso burr coffee grinder, however, has gone through THREE sets of burr grinder heads. I bought them both new at the same time. No breakage or wear and tear of any of the plastic pieces, carafe, or any other item. everything still works as it did as new- after over 3,000 full brewing cycles. I'm looking forward to a lot more great coffee out of this machine!