Great coffee maker - the taste of the coffee is a knock-out and the design grows on you quite quickly.
Positive Product Points
Nice sleek design, Makes an excellent steeping cup of coffee, carafe does not leak and keeps coffee warm for longer than last stainless carafe did (krups), Pretty quiet, semi-insulated brewing area (the area where the hot water is dispensed into the coffee is double-walled to keep the heat from dissipating), brewing area (i.e. basket, basket housing) comes all the way off so you can clean it thoroughly, lots of visible stainless-looking panels - makes for a good look.
Negative Product Points
You have to fidget with the filter to get it in because the filters are a little tall for the basket but it's not a big deal because it's a top-load instead of the swing basket most coffee-makers use. The carafe lid has markings that indicate where you should have it set to BREW and to POUR. This ensures the coffee stays hot as long as possible but you do have to think about it - you get used to it though and I dont mind it. The coffee maker is taller than most - not a problem in our kitchen but would if you plan to put it under a cabinet with low clearance. The carafe comes with a lid to further keep in the heat if you take the carafe out of the base unit - there is no storage area for this lid...minor complaint but it would be handy if there was a caddy for it. There is not water filtration so we have to pour water out of our brita into the basin.
I was a little nervous with the mixed reviews that I read from many websites such as amazon, coffee geek, and newegg. The bottom line was that I wanted a coffee maker that made the best coffee in a stainless steel carafe for a machine under $100. I came to the conclusion that its impossible to buy a perfect coffee maker for under $100 with a stainless steel carafe. However, I weighted the positive reviews and took a risk on a brand i was not familiar with and I do say I am quite happy. I really think that there have been some modifications to the original design because some of the complaints I read about I just dont know how there were problems. The carafe lid is VERY easy to get off - i guess if you closed it with a pipe wrench it may be difficult to get off but why would anyone feel to need to tighten the lid that much when brewing... The coffee maker makes very hot coffee (hotter than the last krups we had for a year and a half) unlike many reviews stated. We absolutely love the carafe. It's designed to conserve heat - that comes with a few design changes that requires rotating the lid to the "pour" setting after you get done brewing. This was unlike any other carafe we've had but it does keep the coffee warmer and inhibits any sort of leaks which we hated about our last krups carafe. We've only had the coffee maker a few weeks so we can't attest to the longevity. But we feel that if we can get at least a year out of the thing it is well worth the cost of the quality of coffee that it is brewing. We're crossing our fingers even though it supposed has a year warranty.
Used a bed bath beyond coupon at the store to mail-order (only way to get the 20% because it's not in the store). Wanted an easy way to return if we didnt like it -- but we did. Shipping was pretty quick - had it in our hands in about 4 days.
Three Month Followup
Still making quality, hot coffee. Carafe continues to keep coffee warm for many hours. No regrets.