Baratza has a very good effort going with this Maestro grinder. It is best in class, and if you own a Rocky or other expensive quasi-commercial grinder for espresso, this would be a near-perfect second grinder for drip brew, vacuum coffee, and press pot, or even for espresso as a "backup" machine should you ever find your espresso grinder out of commission or needing service.
If you don't own a grinder, or are looking to upgrade from a blade grinder or $35 Salton burr type grinder, this one is a very positive step upwards, and can serve most households well as both a capable espresso and drip brew grinding device.
There is room for improvement - first and foremost is the burr collar which knocks this grinder a full point down in my overall rating against what a grinder like the Rocky offers. With the fit and finish of the grinder being so good everywhere else, this collar with the wide float is a let down.
Other areas that need improvement are the weight issues, and I can't help but thinking that if this had a metal frame and a metal body, not only would the weight issue be a non-issue, but aesthetically, I'd feel like I was getting a true bargain, a steal almost, when plonking down my $130 for the grinder. And lastly, the grind range - better than before, but still not quite good enough to compete with the big boys. It needs something like an extra 25% range, and much finer than the current "click to click" ratios.
In fact, if there is ever a "pro" version of this grinder, I'd like to see these three things: a completely different burr set (all metal, including the housing it sits in, with bigger burrs), a metal frame and casing, and a stepless grind selection - something like a "worm drive" or a friction plate system - press down a button, friction is released and you can freely turn the hopper changing the grind - release the button, and friction occurs, locking the hopper in place no matter where you stopped it. Make that grinder, and you have a $175, $180 wunderkind that would definitely compete with the Rocky.
A lot of talk about the Rocky in this review, so I'll end that comparision by saying this - is the Rocky worth the $75 or so more than the Maestro? If your primary coffee beverage is espresso, then yes, it is - you're getting commercial grade parts in the crucial areas that matter - the burr set and motor - in the Rocky, and that $75 is definitely worth it and I would not hesitate recommending it over a Maestro, telling you to save up your pennies to cover the difference.
But if you like a range of coffee styles and brewing methods, and only want to own one grinder, I'm giving the slight nod to the Maestro - it is much more versatile, and while it doesn't have the longevity the Rocky has, it takes up a lot less space, and does what it does much more efficiently and with a greater ease for the end user than the Rocky provides.
All in all, Baratza and Solis have a real winner here, and my overall rating for the product is actually a 10 in its class - because it becomes the new benchmark in consumer grinders for the home. Stacked up against the Rocky, I give it a 6 in the espresso scoring, and 8 in the overall score, in its class.