It was a good decision to buy this kettle. Before buying, I thought carefully about earlier reviews I had read about it, some of which made me doubt its suitability. However, having now used the kettle on a trip abroad, any doubts have been satisfied, and I am happy to share my findings.
Because it's made of shiny stainless steel, it's attractive, sturdy and I don't expect it to taste of plastic as it gets older. It boils the water in a reasonable time, and somewhat faster than expected. (We used it in one French hotel that had no tea/ coffee making facilities and, as a comparison, it was faster than the kettle at the next hotel which did have those facilities). The fixed cord presumably keeps the price down, though caused no problems. Turning to the auto switch-off: again, this was no concern - the switch pinged off after about 10 seconds boiling time, which was reasonable - afterall, I expect this should kill any bacteria that might be in the water. I fully agree that the cups are way too small to use for a thirst-quenching drink. Finally, the capacity - I filled the kettle to a couple of millimetres above the "max" indicator, placed the kettle on a level surface, used two standard English mugs to make tea/coffee/choc, and found there was enough water to fill the mugs to the level we would do normally (about 1 cm below the rim).
I would recommend this to other prospective purchasers. Enjoy!
ps - on a lighter note, the cups might have any number of alternative uses, such as carrying sugar and dry instant coffee with cling film to keep the contents in, or to keep a drink of water in by the bedside in the hotel, or wine goblets, or even dice shakers!!!