The machine does develop leaks... I ordered a couple of sizes of silicone O-rings and spring clips from McMaster-Carr and go in a couple of times a year to replace them. I should find a size that works better. We also had to replace the original gear-driven grinder when it wore out completely. The newer design belt driven grinder is SO MUCH quieter!! It's worth repairing this machine is it gets older. It still makes amazing espresso and coffee.
This is an update after three years of using our Magnifica.
We bought our Magnifica after using a similar machine while visiting friends in Germany. We have been using it for over 3 years now, and are still quite happy with it. My wife and I both drink a lot of coffee -- tall Americanos most of the day. I am a full time telecommuter, so I will average 3-5 a day in winter, 2-4 in summer. We also love being able to fill a couple of 16 oz. insulated cups before leaving on a road trip. I would say this machine probably gets more use than the manufacturer intended.
The unit has been fairly trouble free. We have noticed a few occasions when water leaked from the tank where it connected to the machine, leaving a puddle on the counter. After a cleaning and more carefully aligning the tank, it ceased being a problem. We have run the de-liming process when the machine asked for it. So far no other problems. I would strongly recommend a complete, thorough cleaning inside and out every month or two, though. Use a brush and a vacuum.
The cup warmer seemed like a great idea; in reality it doesn't do much. I was going to disconnect it to save electricity, but as it turns out it's just a metal plate over the hot water tank -- it doesn't use any additional electricity. They just made a feature (cup warmer) out of an area where plastic would have probably warped and cracked by now.
It doesn't get any quieter with age. Once you push the button you can pretty much forget any ideas you had about conversation until your coffee is done (I am always sure to offer a cup to the in-laws when they visit). I finally removed the covers and added some Dynamat left over from my truck stereo installation to the areas that seemed to be vibrating; that helped a little but it's still pretty raucous.
I'm sure the guys who grind, tamp, press and adjust the pumps on the chrome semi-autos will turn up their noses at a machine like this, but it's such a huge step up from the typical drip coffee maker (and ground Folger's). If you're a coffee lover you really do owe it to yourself to try a machine like this. The price tag made the purchase a tough decision -- still 5x what we paid for the best drip machine we'd ever had -- but we're glad every day that we took the plunge.
Below is my original review, written a couple of months after we got it:
***************** I wish I could give it a 4.5. As others have noted, it is a bit on the noisy side. We went from a Bunn drip machine (best drip coffee maker by far) to this after being blown away by the one our hosts had in Germany. It's been worth every penny. Speaking of pennies, a 20% off coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond is the ticket for low price and a VERY good return policy.
We have used Starbucks and Pears beans, and will continue to try others probably. Cleaning is a snap, my only real gripes are the water reservoir - obviously designed with coffee-sipping Europeans in mind, not us coffee-DRINKING Americans. Still, we haven't used the Bunn since we plugged in the Magnifica.
Likes: Superb coffee!! Great crema, better than coffee houses Easily adjusted cup size & coffee strength FAST warm-up Easy to clean Everything works perfectly
Dislikes: A little noisy. No automatic timer (not a big deal, since it warms up fast) Cup warmer not of much use, and no way to shut it off