Most helpful positive review
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Excellent product, care and feeding needed
on March 7, 2007
I have owned this for about 9 months and gotten nearly 1000 uses out of it (it counts for you). It can equal most coffeehouse product you are likely to find, but as others point out, it is far short of what an enthusiast can create from more traditional equipment. You may also find the crema coffee settings to be something of an acquired taste (but you can make an Americano in just one more step, which is always great).
Also, we went through a brief episode in which it would refuse to brew anything (as if it didn't have the power to punch the water through the puck of coffee). I remedied this with a descaling cycle as well as wiping out the parts above the removable tray thoroughly. (I use filtered water in the machine, but the descaling seems to be a more serious cleaning than the normal automatic cleaning.)
Given this, I would recommend keeping large stock of cleaning supplies and at least doing the normal cleaning every couple of weeks, rather than awaiting the machine's automated recommendation to clean. My understanding is that there are no dirt sensors driving these messages. It is just a function of the amount of use.
Overall, I would buy this again for certain, and if/when it dies I will be looking at one of its more expensive siblings, not at other brands.
UPDATE OCT 2012: I am up to nearly 5,000 runs. The only change is that it heats up a little slower. What a quality machine!