Pasquini Liva 90 Semi-Auto: Excellent shots over and over, quick heat up and clean up, highly recommend.
Positive Product Points
Everything I expected/hoped for - Quality espresso shots, easy to use, clean up is a snap, good construction.
Negative Product Points
Very minor: The spouts on the portafilter were crooked/misaligned. They weren't even close to parallel to the front of the machine, so one shot glass was behind the other and hard to see. Was an easy fix of loosening the spouts a quarter turn. It made me nervous to mess with it, so I called Pasquini first and they said no problem/would not hurt anything. Now they're perfectly straight and the fix didn't create any issues (leaking/etc).
I did a lot of research on the web before my purchase and even went to Seattle Coffee Gear.com showroom to try several machines before my purchase. That said, I am totally satisfied with my purchase. Yes, some might say the Livia 90 is a little dated, with a lot of new machines on the market, but I went with longevity/history of good performance. I even spoke to a local commercial espresso machine repair person and this was his #1 recommendation based on seeing very few problems with this machine versus others.
As for my likes/dislikes:
Likes: + Produces excellent espresso shots over and over again + Very easy to use...not finicky at all + Heats up quickly (7 minutes is true) + Cleans up very easily. Takes me 15 minutes to pull 3 double shots thru cleanup. + Quality construction. Everything is very solid, works well and looks great. + Fits perfectly under my overhead cabinets, including opening the door/hood to refill the water tank
Dislikes: - Spouts were misaligned as stated above. For $1300 I'd expect this detail not to be overlooked. That said, it was an easy fix. - Short hot water dispenser puts very hot steam right under the knob to turn it off. Have to use a towel to keep from scalding my hand when filling tall cups (my thermos). Short cups are okay/not a problem.
Overall, I am very pleased and would highly recommend the Livia 90 Semi-Automatic. I would not do the Automatic...less control over shots and more electronics to go bad.
Finally, I also purchased the Pasquini K2 doserless grinder to go with it. Works perfectly for espresso grind and french press, which I use at work. A very nice, versatile grinder.
Seattle Coffee Gear.com was great. Very knowledgeable, I got to test different machines in their showroom and they did price matching.
Three Month Followup
One Year Followup
2+ years of daily use and not a single problem. Seriously. I've replaced the group head gasket and that's it. Great machine.