Initially considered this machine but ultimately decided I was more interested in a cup of coffee than becoming a barista--spent a tad more dough and went for a Super Automatic instead.
There's certainly no shortage of Coffee Snobs around here who will insist a more labor intensive machine with a steeper learning curve, will yield a better (fill-in-the-blank) kind of coffee drink, but without having both kinds of machine available for a side by side comparisons, I doubt most of us would know one from the other. I do admit It does sound appropriately snobby to say so, but I'm more inclined to believe the coffee beans one chooses have a more material influence on taste/flavor, than a choice of machine A or B.
That said, if you're the sort who likes to fuss with the variables in your coffee equation, this seems like a good machine to start with; it's neither too manual nor too automatic. If it's your first of either variety, you should also be aware of the maintenance (cleaning/care and feeding requirements) for machines in this league--there's plenty of it. Nothing too difficult, but one must be regular and diligent.
Lastly, if you absolutely, positively know you are strictly an espresso kind of coffee drinker (have no interest in "milk-based" drinks) you can buy a simpler machine without a milk frother. If you prefer lattes and the like, this machine allows that option as a separate, manual step (complete with it's own learning curve).
I didn't realized it until I bought my machine, but I'm quite partial to Latte Macchiatos (who knew?). That's a milk-based coffee drink I could never have mastered, with this Breville. On a super automatic, it's just a button I push. Which leads me to my final thoughts...if you're the sort of person who drinks coffee at different times (and states of consciousness) throughout the day, you might enjoy the rituals involved in producing whatever kind of coffee you wish to enjoy at that given moment. If, other the other hand, you're the sort who prefers to put off any sort of thinking or decision making until you've had at least one or two cups of coffee in the morning, consider a simpler and faster alternative.