With a little tweaking, you can have a real performer in your kitchen. It ain't glamourous, but it really does the job.
Positive Product Points
Serious Heat Exchange design in a compact size, consistency of shot quality, good steaming (with some modification,) durable, easy access to innards. Reservoir size is just right.
Negative Product Points
Stock portafilters too small, no hot water tap, inexplicably awkward design elements, unattractive appearance.
I thought I was getting good results with my Gaggia Baby. Buying the Ellimatic changed my standards. Results are quite consistent, given a good grinder, and it is still extremely difficult to find any commercially sold espresso nearly as good as what I make at home with this machine. The stock steam wand did not do a great job, but a cheap, quick modification (blocking two of the four holes with matchstick slivers) has made excellent microfoam easy.
My only complaints are with the dimensions and design. Cup clearance is inexplicably restricted. With an upgraded La Marzocco portafilter it is impossible to fit even a very small cup under the mousetail spouts. The mousetail had to go, and now my small cups fit under the portafilter. It could easily have been improved in initial design. I don't share others' frustration with the reservoir size. I think it's perfectly adequate just as it is.
The drip tray is rather clumsily placed and not so easy to remove without spilling. And visually I think this machine is one of the least attractive available. Still, for the price, it's hard to beat the quality of coffee you get. And my guests seem to think it's impressive looking, even if I don't.
I purchased this unit used from a very conscienscious user who had maintained it better than I could have asked for. Other than having to replace the pump, which I damaged by overstressing it, this unit has been problem free. If I weren't a shallow, covetous person, I'd be perfectly content keeping this machine forever, though one of these days I'd like to pick up one of those gorgeous Isomac machines.
The seller (an individual I met through alt.coffee) and I are now quite friendly. He's knowledgeable and patient with my occasional, very involved questions. I'll say the same for the parts supplier I use: Sovrana. I have found them to be an absolute treasure in this day of having to choose between fair prices and good service. Sovrana offers truly outstanding service and very reasonable (occasionally rock bottom) prices.