Pros: Absolutely none whatsoever unless you're a spendthrift masochist
Cons: In alpabetic order - or as they come to me ? Awful, Bad, Crap, Dreadful
You know how it is. You go on vacation to Italy, you drink gallons of delicious espressos and capuccinos and - aside from walking around on a permanent caffeine-wired high - you think "Hey - wouldn't it be great if we could make this great coffee back home ?" (This thought comes either before - or after - (depending on whether your prime Italian culinary interest is coffee or pasta) you think "Hey - wouldn't it be great if we could make fresh pasta back home ?"
Getting the coffee's the easy part. It's encouraging - in England at least - that all the major brands of Italian coffee are available at any supermarket, and I guess the same applies in the US.
And there are a bewildering array of espresso machines on offer. So you do what you always do. You check epinions and maybe a couple other review sites; you check on-line suppliers and you slowly gravitate towards a choice.
Price had to be a consideration. As a boy's toy, these high-powered Gaggia - and similar - machines look great, but they're HUGE (unlike my kitchen) and unless you want to induce death-by-coffee are a little...uh...excessive perhaps.
So eventually the price ceiling established itself at under $200. Plenty of choice. I read one interesting comment somewhere and - to my eventual cost - ignored it. It went something like: "Avoid cheaper Italian-made machines. Like Alfa Romeos, they look fabulous, but you just know that eventually vital bits are going to start breaking or falling off"
Enter the DeLonghi Bar M390 from ebay at $210. The specs were good. 15-bar; detachable (plastic) tank; pressure guage; pod adapter; etc. First impressions not great. It looked OK. Not great or WOW !!!. Just OK. But it didn't really inspire confidence in that it just seemed really flimsy and plasticy. Not badly-made - it just didn't look as though it was designed to give a lifetime (or even days) of good service.
Before using, you're instructed to 'prewash' - essentially to flush any crud out of the system. Basically, this just involves filling the tank to capacity, switching on and letting water run thru. The result of this little operation was a copious leaking of lukewarm water from seemingly every available nook and cranny. "Let me try" commanded Mrs DeeBee1 and gratifyingly produced exactly the same result. As did I again.
So off it went to the ebay supplier and back came a replacement. Which repeated the same party trick. (Except Mrs DeeBee1 sat this one out). Thank heavens for an honest ebay trader who without question gave me a full refund and wrote me that he'd had a LOT of other complaints about this particular model. (Can't comment about ease of cleaning, because we never got that far...)
The dilemma remains. Do I buy another machine ? Or would it be cheaper to fly to Italy each time I had an espresso craving ? Whatever the answer to this dilemma is, it's most definitely NOT this machine