A good machine, but for the money...you could do better.
Positive Product Points
For temperature stability, this is probably one of the best heat-exchange systems on the market. It is easily the best I have tested. The model I have has a three group size boiler in a two group machine. Huge heat exchangers. Large drain cup (under the drip tray) is good. Adjustable temp. from the hot water tap. The boiler fills through the sight glass. Pretty solid.
Negative Product Points
Outrageously overpriced, like many commercial machines. Internal pump That is not easy to get to (I really hate that.) Not the best porta-filter design (if you remove the spout, you have to use plumbing tape or they will not set right. Like most machines, the pressure-stat is not precise enough. The stupid E-61 dispersion screen, that is a true pain in the @$$ to remove. The pre-infusion madness must stop! Oh yea, and it's a little ugly.
You could do much worse. I have worked with some truly fine espresso machines, and this one just does not hold up. There are some nice things about it, but I'm just not in love with it. I have found several tricks to make this thing work for me. I have also made a couple of after-market adjustments that really help. I don't buy into the idea that extended pre-infusion improves flavor or crema. I find that it makes temperature surfing more difficult. Think about it. How does pre-infusion work? It uses a reservoir of one form or another, the reservoir robs temperature for the first quarter ounce of espresso (the most flavorful part of the espresso.) I find that extended pre-infusion contributes a more sour flavor (I don't mean that you can't work with it, and yes I know what contributes a sour flavor.) I'm not saying that you can't make good espresso with an E-61 group, but it's no Marzocco (there, I've said it. I tried not to, but after using one for over a year, it's a hard act to follow.)
My salesperson didn't seem to know much about how espresso is made. Many of my questions seemed to go over his head. I hate knowing more than the salesperson. They have been very, very helpful with any questions I have had since I bought the machine. Because of this, I would say that I am happy.