Fark off with anything else at home except a burr grinder and an Aeropress. You will not beat it unless you buy a commercial machine.
I have a Krups espresso machine . Not a commercial machine. makes great espresso every time. great crema and doesn't burn the coffee. Self tamping too.
You MUST have good beans make great coffee.
A good conical grinder used on those good beans is equally important.
Aeropress are nice and easy to use, but if you appreciate a good emulsion then they dont cut it. If you dont, then definately get one.
Agreed. $600 domestic espresso machine, $200 conical burr grinder, good beans, and I can make better coffee than most cafes seem to manage. And you could certainly go cheaper than what I have and still get good results.
I get my beans from here: http://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/
Not exactly the cheapest, but their "Espresso Wow!" blend is fantastic. They have two roast days per week, and they express mail them out so you pretty much always get them the day after they're roasted.