I know pod-based espresso machines are cheating; I should select, blend, roast, grind and tamp my coffee beans by hand, ideally using a tamper carved from century-old oak by a wizened tamp-carver deep in the Italian alps. It is not a substitute for a real espresso, drawn by a trained bartender.
But it is a lot better than no espresso at all, and as good in practice as the espresso in many chain stores. And I can get it at home, on a lazy Sunday morning, while wallowing in the Sunday newspaper. Remember, "perfect" is the enemy of "good enough".