I am re-posting my message because I think my wording failed to express my need for help. Please offer any and all advice.
I cannot believe it has happened to me but my faithful old Saeco has truly died this time -I have had it at least five years and in the past have always managed to resuscitate it. The big problem is that not only do I have limited funds - VERY limited - but I live in southern Baja and have to ask someone to bring one down for me.
Right now I am thinking either another Saeco - the low-end one for just under $300 or the Gaggia New Baby for the same price. Read something on here about a Stretta that is a little more money but I don/'t know much about it. $350 would be the absolute max but I would rather keep it under $300. And need I say I am not interested in anything that takes only pods.