This was my first experience ever with a bread machine, and I'm happy that this is the machine I decided to "test my wings" with! Maybe some machines are intimidating with all the excess functions, but this one was a breeze to use. There was nothing confusing about it. Just follow the instructions given in the manual and you're good to go. I tried it out with the 1.5 lb. basic white bread recipe given in the manual, using the Basic setting. Like some others have said, the taste of the bread recipe given in the manual wasn't the greatest, but that's no reflection on the machine itself. My goal was to make sure the bread ends up with the right texture, and was completely baked at the end of the cycle. It did exactly what it's supposed to do, and now it's just a matter of looking for some tasty bread machine recipes. I have only tried the machine out once, but I know I will enjoy using it for many years to come! As far as the price, I think this was a great deal. Why pay more for a machine with functions you might never use. If you decide to buy this bread machine, you won't regret it!