about a month ago I bought myself an old-timey, Mad Men-esque coffee percolator to see if it really was superior to Mr. Coffee and his brown, bitter brethren.
THE OFFICIAL VERDICT...is still out. Sorry.
There's definitely a little more body to the coffee, a little more of the aromatics, especially if you let the coffee brew in the percolator for a few minutes, instead of pouring it out as soon as the indicator tells you. But it isn't the coffee-nova-taste-explosion I was retro-anticipating from my religious experience at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen).
The percolator is also definitely a more complex beast than Mr. Coffee. You have to watch the grind more carefully (it's a coarse grind, like a French Press); you have to deconstruct and reconstruct the percolator assembly inside the machine for each batch; and you have to be sure the water's cold before you pour it in, and the tap water in my apartment is tepid at best. All of this becomes almost automatic over time, but it's a definite thing. And of course, cleanup is more complicated, too. On the plus side again, you can let the coffee set in the percolator for longer than it would in the drip machine without it becoming undrinkable.
It's been a worthwhile experiment so far.
We shall see...