Good but relatively inexpensive coffee maker?
I am in search of a coffee maker for my house; I don't have one right now. The key characteristic is that it must be programmable so that it will begin brewing while I am asleep (this is a non-negotiable feature, so please don't suggest makers that are simply fast to brew). I don't think I am particularly picky about my coffee, but all else being equal I do enjoy good coffee and I'd prefer to seek out something that would make a decent cup. Given that I've survived to 33 without a coffee maker, though, I'm not inclined to drop much $$--maybe up to about $75 or so? Any recommendations?
I have been using a cuisinart brew central machine for the last 6+ years and it is really, truly great. We have never had any issues with it, and it makes a fine cup of coffee. It is programmable in several ways (auto-brew, warming plate temp, auto-shutoff, small batch mode, etc). They are more reasonably priced right now than when I bought mine (I think they are making way for the newer version?). I think you can find them for less than $70?
If you don't go for the cuisinart, I would at least hold out for a machine that uses a cone shaped filter as opposed to the flat bottomed basket shape.
Let me second the Cuisinart. I agree with everything lisa said, and will add that it has probably the smallest counter footprint of any machine around. The only real flaw is that the area where you pour the water in is kind of small, but you get used to it. I've been very happy with mine.
I swore off Mr. Coffee after owning three machines that all failed within three days to two months. Their customer service was outstanding, and they cheerfully shipped me a new one each time it failed, but that's not much help when I'm stumbling around the house on Monday morning with no coffee.
I'm pretty much a Cuisinart customer for life now. It's at the upper end of your price range, but you can use one of the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupons to bring the price down a bit.
Braun, only about $39. or less at discount, and/or Aerobie for something different and special for about $25. With Kenya AA from Zabars there is nothing like the Braun in the a.m. I also make lattes with the Aerobie, yummy and cheap with a $2. IKEA frother that looks almost exactly like the Aerolatte.
I have an Oster which I bought at Sam's Club which has the timer, automatic shutoff, brew strength and temperature controls. It looks great and makes a good cup of coffee. On the other hand it does have a small area to add the water and the steam when pouring the last cup can reach your hand.
Suggest you check gevalia.com. In return for signing up for their coffee club, they have various offers ($14.95-$22.95) including 2 packages of coffee, and a SS programmable coffee maker. It's basically a risk-free trial with free coffee maker. Just be sure to cancel before your next order is due. (Of course they'd love you to continue).
The maker I have now is theirs and it's been going for a long time. A standard gold filter (the cone shape) fits in it, I think I picked one up at Target or Cost Plus.