The Alex seems to be a well built machine and time will tell. IMHO I like the Alex ii! Got my espresso right the second try!
Positive Product Points
The machine does what it's supposed to do well!
Negative Product Points
You can't slide the tray out without it taking the top tray cover with it. And if you release it while it is pulled out it will fall. Also, the steam wand will sting you if you steam long enough with it. A Hinged hood would be nice for the rear mounted tank! I used a second option! PH strips were missing as some instructions. I had to connect the boiler back to the hot water wand.
I have only owned the Alex for 2 days and I am pleased with it so far. I purchased a separate tank and extended the pump suction hose to access water from another source. I don't have to slide it from under my cabinets. So far so good after just 2 days of use. The knobs are nice, the group head is great and the machine was set up just right for making espresso. The Pid is good for watching the temperature on the boiler. The Alex ii motor and pump are quite with no vibration. The adjustable feet were easy to put on, no problem. This machine has good size and commands attention when you step into the kitchen. It makes you want to make an espresso every time you pass by it! Water wand works great as well as the stem wand. The knobs are nice and stops steam and water with no leaks. This baby is heavy so don't worry about it being pushed off the table top. I think it's a good machine in it's category and if you are reading this you owe it to yourself to try one out!