Although I don't have a whole lot of experience with other espresso makers, I could tell immediately that the FrancisFrancis! is quality! Just the way it's built - its design is solid and sturdy, but it also looks like a work of art on my kitchen counter top. I never realized how joyous it is to have perfectly made, quick espressos in my home - day or night! And this baby can make 'em! I add water every so often and pop in the espresso packet (my boyfriend and I have been loving the packets from Lavazza, they work really well in this machine!), and voila! Restaurant quality espressos! It may be the lowest maintenance appliance in my house! I'm lucky to have received my FrancisFrancis! as a gift because I doubt if I would pay so much for an espresso maker for myself, but I will say that the cost is definitely backed up by the quality. Ease of Cleaning I was concerned about the difficulty of keeping it clean, but it's actually quite a breeze! The only potential drawback is that this thing is heavy so moving it to clean underneath can be a challenge. Design The design is the real beauty about this espresso maker, it is very elegant yet super functional. Durability This baby is the real deal - I liken it to industrial or commercial standard!