"Prosumer" has it just about right: the heft, presence, and beauty of a commercial machine for the home. Once you have your routine down, outstanding espresso is there when you want it. Overcaffeination here I come!
Please note that this is a review of the Rocket Cellini Premium Plus, and not the newer V2. The differences are minor: an additional manometer for brewhead pressure and an insulated boiler.
After extensive reading here and on homebarrista, I started making espresso with real trepidation! But I was astonished at how easy it is to make some really superb coffee. The solidity of the machine itself is extremely reassuring, from the professional E61 grouphead to the hefty portafilters and on to the wonderfully articulated steam and hot water wands. Coupled with the Baratza Vario I purchased with the machine, I was able to dial in the grind and the draw time in just a few shots. And within a week, my shots are consistently better than my (very good) local cafe.
Live most novices, I'm still working on my frothing technique, but I've begun to raise my average, and have made some really great cappuccinos for my wife--who has moved from extremely irritated with the purchase to grudgingly admiring. I moved from a Nespresso machine, and the sheer amount of steam produced threw me for a loop at first.
I couldn't be happier with the machine, and with the constant availability of really good coffee in the house. Highly recommended.
I purchased the machine from Chris Coffee. They were extremely accommodating and informative during the purchase process; it would be very easy to run a bait and hook operation in a business like this (where new buyers rapidly become entranced by the fetishism on sites like this), but there was no hint of that. They wanted the right machine for my purposes. There was a slight problem with some soldering on the steam and hot water handles; I not only received parts the next day, but a custom-made video of how to install them. Kudos to Chris and his whole team.
Three Month Followup
After three months of daily use, the Rocket Cellini still looks and works like new. It has had an effect on our daily lives out of all proportion to what might expect from an appliance! The coffee is still wonderfully consistent, and my steaming skills continue to improve.
I recommend this espresso machine very highly.
One Year Followup
One year gone. I said to my wife recently: "I never imagined that we would derive so much pleasure from a coffee machine!" The Rocket still performs flawlessly, and, if anything, my slowly improving skills have made it an even better machine.