I was in a used-books store in Easthampton (MA), and this guy, Bob, who works there perkily asked me if I wanted an espresso. Bob isn't a perky type at all, so I knew something was up. He led me over to their new Nespresso machine. He made it, I drank it and found it good.
After wrestling with temptation for a few weeks, temptation finally won and I ordered a machine and have been drinking way too much espresso since it arrived.
The Nespresso espresso is, in my opinion, quite good. Is it the best espresso I've ever had? No, but I've had some pretty bad espresso in coffee houses. The Nespresso produces consistently good espresso. I bought their cheapest machine (around $150). The brewing mechanism is the same in all their machines from what I can tell.
They produce quite a good variety of espresso and lungo pods. The pods run about $0.65 per pod. The pods are aluminum and this does keep it fresh and with a good shelf life. Other pod espresso makers use paper pods that obviously have a much shorter shelf life and makes getting fresh pods a riskier proposition, even if they are a bit cheaper.
I would stay away from Nespresso's newest model, Pixie, which is made in Switzerland and has not been very reliable. The other models are made in China and have a good reputation for reliability. A sad commentary on our times."