Stop wasting your time searching. Get a spaz now and never look back.
Positive Product Points
Fantastic machine. Best in under 2K class. Pleasure to use. Very well constructed. Dual boiler. Rotary pump. Plumbed water line (a must). Ease of temp and volume adjustment. Pressure gauge.
Negative Product Points
Plastic side panels, but I understand the need to keep the price less than 2K.
Investigated several options. Called and spoke to Chris directly. He was very helpful in the decision to buy my S1. No pressure, just straight talk from someone who knows the pros and cons of espresso machines. Despite reading some comments about shipping damage, the machine was very well packed (double boxed) and arrived in perfect condition. After plumbing the water line and plugging in, had a great shot in 15 minutes using factory settings. Have not had to adjust a thing so far and despite four months of constant use, (10-15 shots/day), everything functions as the day it arrived. Love the volumetric dosing. I know that my doubles will always be 1.75 ounces and I just adjust the grind to produce a 20-25 second extraction. I expected steaming to be an improvement over my silvia because of the dual boilers, but I am still amazed at the speed and output of the steam. The best part is cranking out shot after shot, cappa after cappa with NO down time! Temperature adjustment is a breeze, although despite experimenting with temps several times (depending on roast), I still return to the original factory settings. My machine stays on constantly (20 amp). Buy the 20 amp version and change out your 15 amp receptacle, assuming your house wiring will support 20 amp. No down time and "instant" shot when you want one. Boiler stays off until I want to steam (AM). It's ready in under 15 minutes after pressing the boiler switch. Forget the timer, you don't need one. In short, no regrets whatsoever. I don't think you will do better in under 2K price range.
Chris has become my new supplier for everything I need. Have ordered several times since my first order and have never been disappointed. Can't comment on warranty service so far, since no problems have occurred.