Pros: Best buy for the money. Nearest competition (KR)are overpriced.
Cons: No retail outlet. Made in Spain. Somewhat nervous about replacement parts
I have received my Rapid II pressure cooker 2 days ago and used it for two recipes. The pot is truly amazing! The Rapid II's simplicity is great and the features are easy to use. Hopefully, I will always have good things to say about my PC. It's a work of art to look at and "an elegant European design", as the accompanying video states.
I had the most difficult time trying to make an online purchase. In 2002 this company does not have a secure site for credit card purchases. There's a warning that the site does not employ encryption to prevent credit card theft. I really wanted this cooker, was close to being maxed out on my MC and did not care about the lack of SSL. The company's check-out site did not work. I had to call Customer Service to determine if I was charged without being sent a confirmation e-mail message. I ended up completing the order using the same credit card over the telephone. Customer Service was very apologetic and stated that they get asked about the lack of a secure connection all the time. The excuse was "we're just a small company". Well, even more of a reason to secure sales revenue.
The user manual is truly weak. Why so much attention to design and recipes and so little attention to proper use? For example, I removed the valve fixing nut that holds the spring valve in place for cleaning and decided to look for some guidance on the proper replacement of the fittings. I work on cars, so proper torque and orientation is usually very important, if you do not want parts flying at you and you want the calibration settings right. Well, I located an exploded view in the user manual, but nothing on how to properly replace the valve to prevent a user throwing the pressure setting out of "wack". I suppose I'll have to call customer service or revet to "trial and error".
Finally, I learned that the valve can only be inserted one way which helps minimize re-installation problems.
The black plastic collar on the lid have low-high pressure marks that are used to dial up or down to the recommended pressure for a recipe. The plastic collar also has an notch that fits into an indentation in the pressure regulator valve, so the adjustable pressure selection marks will always be in the right place when select the max pressure. If you can still rotate the plastic collar after tightening the valve fixing nut, the notch is probably not in the indentation.
This is a good thing, but I should not have to learn about this through trial and error. Maybe they'll just ship out another 8 quart pot. Five year guarantee you know!