I just received my - much anticipated - new Cuisinart Espresso Maker (refurb.) It arrived as if it was brand new (*I must admit - I was a little worried that I would be receiving some one else's used coffee maker). Everything was packaged in original factory box - shiny - bright and brand new. (All the "extras" u see in the pic.s were there). I unpacked everything and was initially worried to even turn it on after reading reviews of leaky gaskets and exploding coffee. But again, no worries... Just take a few extra minutes to Read & RE-Read the instructions (I think understanding how the machine functions is probably the most important part - just my opinion!) The instruction book tells you everything - from your initial first use of running plain water thru - right up to making your first espresso/latte etc. A few tips: There is no "gauge" that will shut off (like the cheaper models) so - you need to do a few "test runs" of making one cup at a time... (get decaf - this way you can taste each one as u go along and will still be able to sleep at night :) Once you are confident with knowing how much liquid/espresso should be in your cup all u need to do is shut off the machine (it really is that simple). Making the "foam" is the same; I tested a few times ---- and was able to see how quickly the milk doubled and tripled. When I was comfortable with all the knobs, water & coffee levels - I worked on my "tamping pressure". TEST - TEST - TEST: Test the "Tamping" - meaning - put a scoop of coffee in the supplied tin - holding the lever in one hand - press the coffee down firmly with the supplied tool (flat end) repeating approx. 3 times (FYI: The directions call for "30 pounds of pressure" (What???-- That was questionably to me - who would possibly know how hard 30 pounds of pressure is ???) By testing - I was able to tamp it down firmly - then lightly touch the top of the coffee - if it still feels loose - tamp again - u should end up with a fairly hard surface--- Once you have the technique (and confidence down ) it starts to seem very easy & self explanatory. After - all of the above (which took me about a half hour to learn the knobs/noises/feel of everything), I made my first "real" cup of cappuccino ---- IT WAS FABULOUS!!! It was worth the wait and I am sure my pocketbook will starting feeling the rewards as well... I hope u enjoy your new espresso machine as much as I am sure we will !!! Good Luck & Enjoy!!!!