Beautifull, Bangs out perfect shots no matter what you want... stop the viciouse upgrade circles, and buy one... you will be glad you did!
Positive Product Points
You get what you expect (with alot of things today... your happy to get what you expect!!) LOOKS GORGEOUS (everyone who sees it drops their jaw)!! Makes AWSOME espressos & any milk based drink Huge drip tray Hot cup warmer Adjustable temps and pressure - so you can dial it in however you wish!!
Negative Product Points
The thing that bugs me the most about this machine is the knobs on the steam/water controlls and the porta filter handles (the newer version comes with the better knobs/handles), but i knew this buying the machine (and i got a good enough deal to buy those pieces at the whopping 8$ or whatever). And i will have to ecco everyone else on the cup warmer (you must remove all cups to lift tray to add water)... YES it is a huge pain in the... but after seing the Andreja i will have my local stainless shop cut a hole in the top, this will solve that (and i was quoted 15$, 40$ to add a funnel shape to it!!)
I will expand on this later, but for me the warranty was an issue on these machines. The choices for me were to pay big dollars to buy a machine in Canada, or import it from the U.S. which i dont mind, BUT it seems with these high end machines the distributors are left holding the warranty. Well this could be problematic (shipping the machine to the U.S., or having a small company go out of business... etc...).
I really wish it was prepaired for the plumb in kit like the andreja.
I was originally looking at the Silvia, but after seing one in action and reading about the work that goes into producing a good shot from one, i quickly realized that this was not really what i was looking for. I wanted a machine that i could essentially walk up to and brew a wicked good shot with as little effort and time involved as possible.
The answer... an HX with an E61
I LOVE this machine. It will bang out shot after shot one after another, every one a winner. I do intend to plumb the machine in one day... chances are you will too! I can make a latte for my wife and a double for me, then another double for me in the same time it took with the La Pavoni to brew one shot!!
This machine has no problem serving up drinks to a half dozen people in just a few minutes.
Seriously though, its just a damn great machine. It is an HX machine with wicked good looks that will last me a long long long time.
I was looking for something smaller, this machine was not within the budget (but then again, nothing ever is). I knew little of the machine really, what i did know, what that this was something i wanted in the future (big HX machine). I ended up on the phone with Joe at Caffetech.com (i later came to find out that when you call, you talk straight to the owner of the company... nice!), i explained to him what i was doing (home roasting... yadda yadda) and explaind what i wanted. He strongly urged me to consider this machine, and boy oh boy am i glad he did. Buying this machine was definitally the best decision for ME (at first obviously i figgured i was just getting the sales pitch). Caffetech.com is Canadian and although they are out west, they have service partners out here (Ontario) to service me (service to me was VERY important). And boy was i glad that i bought this machine from a service focussed company, at first i had an airlock in the pump, Joe was on the phone with me throughout the long week end and in his evenings trying to truble shoot the machine. I will recomend to anyone in Canada (or even the U.S. (shopping in canadian dollars is nice, yes!?)) to call Joe, they carry the Silvia, the Andreja, and some Isomacs.