Summary: well, it's by design. The problems with the auto-shutoff and the condensation are probably all related - the mechanism for turning the switch on/off is built into the base - what has to happen is steam moves down the spine of the kettle (the gray area under the handle). THis is a steam passage that vents into the base of the unit.
Summary: This was my first electric kettle. What a great kitchen must! I loved this product. It died 53 weeks after purchase with moderate use. After reading other reviews, I realize that customer service is practically non-existant in the U.S. because all the customer service folks are overseas and could really care less about us. Sadly in the trash it goes. No more Braun products.
Summary: I love this product so much, I am actually using the 2nd one. The reason why I had to buy the 2nd one is because the detachable filter got ripped, and the replacement cost was too much, and I used it for over 3 years.
I expected the filter of my 2nd one to last as long as the last one (3+ years). But it got ripped within the first 6 months. I'm very disappointed. I'm still using the product, but I see white calcium flakes in my tea.
Summary: Electric kettles are a mainstream item in Germany, where I am from. I was very surprised to see they are hard to find and poorly designed here. This one is the most decent I could find here, but I have seen better ones from Siemens, and even some store-brand ones in Germany. The lid of this one does not open completely and makes it hard to clean (even though you don't have to do it very often). The other features are nothing that impresses me.