I''m new to the board. I am interested in getting the Nespresso Manual C-190 machine. I know that you all may be against the pods but I actually really enjoy what I''ve tasted from the machine.
Technically those machines don't use pods, but actually use capsules instead. From what I've read capsules will offer more freshness than a pod since it's sealed. IMO neither will give the same results as a good grinder and a semi-auto machine. Also, with pods you won't have nearly as much selection or convenience as you do with whole bean availability.
With that being said, if you want a decent shot with minimal effort and cost, then these machines should give you just that. Later!
Also, consider carefully the LIMITED supply (Nestle only), limited distribution and smallish selection from single manufacturer.
The pod systems offer a somewhat larger range of pod manufacturer's and their product lines to choose from. Beware the range of quality and freshness offered in pod format, too.