Thanks. The Bonavita 5-cup you mentioned in your first post looks like a much more affordable and suitable option for us. Do you have any experience with that?Not quite sure your meaning on efficiently...however there have been many times when my wife was away or left for work early when I'll only make half a pot, in my case two mugs worth. Just fill it to around the 5 cup mark and then use 3 (2tbls scoops) of whole beans. Have not tried to make a smaller quantity.
Actually, my wife is perfectly happy with the Black & Decker 5-cup she bought at Target a few years ago for $14.99 (on sale). But she uses so much sugar and milk (or cream) she can't really taste any subtleties in the coffee.