After my Rancilio S27 decided to become terminally ill, I got the simonelli as a loaner until I could get to work on the S27. I have to admit, this is a really sturdy and capable machine. The boiler heats up to temp quickly, and shots are incredible, with beautiful crema 85% of the time. The taste is incredible, most shots pulling at 23-26 seconds (depending on the beans, grind, tamp, etc.).
My main gripe, however, is the steam wand. It's incredibly difficult to get the swirly whirlpool. After fiddling around with the position, I could get decent microfoam occasionally, but mostly I get that "crumpled velvet". With a lever controlled steam wand, it's a little awkward to control the flow of steam, as it keeps tending toward the fully open position. The hot water lever is also in an awkward spot, risking burning yourself when trying to push the lever closed.
On a lesser gripe, the drip tray tends to get gunked up, as it doesn't seem to make it down the pipe most of the time. Running hot water into it seems to keep it loose, and an occasional rinsing under the faucet keeps it under control.
Overall, though this is an incredible machine and can handle a big workload without breaking a sweat. It makes great drinks and pull's incredible shots. comes to temp quickly and stays steady and consistent.