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>I'm looking at a Tassimo now that claims 15 bar pressure - I'm by no means an expert, but I thought all you needed was about 9 bar?
The problem is the capsule design. The capsules in Tassimo/DG machines are necessarily quite large, to accommodate the wide range of milk-based drinks on offer. This means that there's a big pressure drop between the outlet nozzle and the capsule, so the water doesn't actually hit the coffee grounds at anywhere near the requisite pressure. The cheaper and smaller machines just don't have the power to keep up. The results aren't awful by any means, but they're a long way short of Nespresso, which uses a much smaller capsule that is specifically designed for espresso.
I've just remembered the ESE system, which might suit you - most modern domestic espresso machines have a basket designed to take ESE pods, which are basically espresso tea bags. There's less waste than a system that uses plastic capsules, and you have a wide choice of machines and coffee suppliers because it's an open standard.
With all that said, the Aeropress produces remarkably good pseudo-espresso and is convenient to use - you can chuck it in your work bag with a little pouch of coffee and knock up a decent coffee in an office kitchen. Cleaning it requires nothing more than a quick rinse under the tap. The only real downside is the lack of crema, but the coffee itself is first rate. It might look like a cafetiere, but the results are a world apart.