I've owned this unit for roughly 1 month now and have been relatively satisfied. Before I purchased the unit, I had read a number of reviews of this unit and several other units from other manufacturers and had decided that this one would be best suited to meet my needs within my price range.
As previous reviewers have noted, the shelves are closely spaced, so larger bottles with wider diameters or that are taller (internal depth of roughly 13") may not fit. I purchased the unit expressly to house champagne. What I ended up doing was removing the bottom 3 shelves so that I could store the champagne upright without damaging the labeling. In doing so, I can store 8 or 9 champagne bottles in the bottom with ease, with the upper racks still available to store red wine or beer as the mood strikes me.
Temperature regulation seems fairly constant. I have not done an independent check of the temperature sensor. As the manual notes, the unit should be allowed to stand for 2 hrs after shipment/moving to reduce the possibility of a malfunction of the cooling system. I have already moved once and was surprised to discover just how true this statement was. Prior to the move, I had set the cooler to 54. I then unplugged the unit and moved it to my new place (which took me 30 minutes to an hr). I immediately plugged it back in to make sure the bottles didn't heat dramatically. The unit then settled to 56. I'm assuming the reason is exactly what was described in the manual. After a period of 2 days, it then returned to 54 (without me ever touching the temperature controls). The manual does tell you to transport the unit upright when moving (I had it on its side since that was the only way it was fitting in my car). Just something to keep in mind.
In terms of the time it takes to get down to the desired temperature, it will definitely take a while initially. When I first received the unit, I set it to 54 with the cooler empty just to make sure it would work. That took a matter of a few hours. I then filled it with 8 bottles of champagne and red wine. With an ambient temperature (and presumably bottle temperature) of about 78, it took somewhere around a day and a half to get back down to 54.
Once the unit gets down to 54, opening the door to remove a bottle seems to cause it to shoot up to as high as 60, before it cools itself back down.
The door handle does have to be attached by you, the user. This isn't stated in the manual. However, I was prepared for this from reading other reviews. I did receive both screws and had a good idea of where to look beneath the magnetic strip for the screwholes.
The wire racks are metal and removable. Plastic clips on the interior of the unit prevent them from sliding out too far. It may take a little force to bend the clips slightly to create enough clearance to remove the metal racks from the unit. Not something I would advise doing often, considering they are plastic, but they seem durable enough to withstand such action every now and then.
There is a little blue light on the interior at the top of the unit which can be controlled by a light switch on the front of the unit. The manual states turning it on can cause temperature variations within the unit. I just leave mine off and have never verified just how much it causes the temperature to vary.
There is a filter in the back of the unit that fits loosely in a slot. I don't believe I ever saw any mention of it in the manual. The only reason I bring it up is because it can fall out rather easily if the unit is flipped on its side (which I did during moving).
With regards to noise, the unit is not silent, but it is not loud either. When I first turned it on, the hum surprised me, but I quickly got used to it and don't even notice it now.
As for maintenance, I have yet to clean the water reservoir. From reading the manual, it doesn't sound hard. Additionally, the troubleshooting section of the manual does detail a list of common problems the unit may experience. I had to call customer service to get some clarification as to which of those problems were covered by warranty and what the most common issues were, as well as how they could be addressed. They were very up front and I was very comfortable with the apparent relative ease of maintenance prior to making my purchase.
All in all, even though it has only been a month, I have been quite satisfied with my purchase. I knew exactly what I was getting into and the unit has most definitely delivered. Everything still works just fine and I have no complaints.