I bought this based upon reviews on this website and wasn't disappointed. You can't really get an inkling of how attractive this coffeemaker is unless you see it in person. It reminds me of a lab instrument, sort of the ultimate chemistry teachers coffeemaker.
Brewing with the Hario is ritualistic, even ceremonial. It's fun to watch brew, which is a good thing since you need to keep an eye on it to prevent it from boiling dry as that would likely damage the glass. Almost everything about the design is functional and well thought out. I'd like it if the handle on the carafe was a bit sturdier, possibly made of metal like the rest of the maker, but it's a minor issue. You really need to nit-pick to find things wrong with the design.
All of this would be for naught if it wasn't for the fact that it makes excellent coffee. I use the grind setting three notches above espresso grind on my Solis and while it takes a while to go "south", it has yet to get stuck. I like my coffee stronger and full bodied, so I don't mind the wait. You control every step of the making of your coffee with this product, from the grind to brew duration to the type of filter, etc... Anyone that experiments with this should be able to make their own "perfect" cup.
It is SO fun to make coffee for myself and a friend with this thing. It always impresses, with the anachronistic brewing method, the beauty of the maker and the quality of the coffee. I do wish they made a larger version, perhaps with a butane stove? I have the 10 cup Bodum Electric Santos for larger groups, but it doesn't have quite the OOOOooo factor that the Hario does.
This being said, it's a pain to clean. Since it's glass and I'm a klutz, I'm always worried about breaking it. The cleaning thing has also relegated it to weekend and special occasion status, as there isn't enough time in the morning to "do the Hario ceremony" every day. This isn't a fault with the product really, as I can't think of any way to design it to make cleaning easier and still make it out of glass. But I'm going to have to get a four cup Melitta maker to use during the week, and I wouldn't advise anyone buy this with the intention of using it as their daily coffeemaker.
I like the paper filters. That may exclude me from the "purist" club, but so be it. I have a Bodum Electric Santos with the nylon mesh filter and love it, but sometimes I also like the cleaner flavor that the paper filters provide. I've used the cloth filter for the Hario, but I prefer the paper. I hope to try a glass rod filter sometime soon.
My version of coffee heaven:
Roast beans in my Hearthware Precision Roaster the night before, throw the beans in the Solis grinder. Set up and fill the Hario with water. Next morning, grind the coffee, throw it in the Hario and brew. Drink coffee and leave the cleaning for after work. Ahhhh...