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What's The Best Espresso Machine

Q: What's the best espresso machine in the under $250 range? I never had espresso before but visited a Starbucks and tried their Espresso Frappuccino and flipped over them! I want to make them at home, plus regular espressos. I read a review by Chef Rosemary Furfaro on the web that said pump style machines are the best and come closest to store bought espresso. She said: "This machine won my award for best in the lighter weight pump style category....The cup of espresso was delicious and quite close to café quality with golden, thick cream." True? I can't afford much but it sounded from that review that the Cuisinart Coffee Bar Cappuccino/Latte/Espresso Maker makes about the best espresso in my price range.

A: The Starbucks Barista machine is an excellent buy at $239 (on sale now). It is made by Saeco, a very reputable company. I bought a Barista two weeks ago and I really like it. I don't know what the best machine is but I'm sure I couldn't afford it :-) I would definately recommend a pump machine since there are several in your price range. I have a Saeco Aroma. I bought it last December and have finally developed a close personal relationship with this machine. I can make a cappucino just the way I like it including a nice stiff velvety froth that you can almost walk on.