The Vetrano exceeded my expectations for quality of espresso, quality of manufacture, and vendor service.
Positive Product Points
The Vetrano is a first class piece of equipment. It produces excellent espresso and very good milk froth. It is simple to understand as a user and lends itself to rapid setup for first use. The rotary pump is an engineering marvel and exceptionally quiet. I use supply water from an RO filter system, backflush with water using the blind cup every three to five days, and backflush with descaling powder about once a month. My research did not reveal another unit close to the quality of the Vetrano in the $1500 +/- price range with a rotary pump.
Negative Product Points
The grate and drip tray beneath the E61 head rattled annoyingly given the otherwise quiet operation of the machine. I cleaned both with solvent and applied four coats of clear spray on plastic (Plasti Dip) to the contact surfaces producing the rattles. This solved the problem.
The machine arrived with the mounting bracket for the rotary pump motor capacitor broken. I removed the SS cover, repaired the mount with epoxy, and remounted the capacitor. The repair is working well. The freight handler (probably UPS) simply did not respect the "fragile" label. The vendor was willing to take the unit back and replace it. My user fix was far simpler than returning the unit to Chris' Coffee.
The steam and hot water valves squeeked loudly and had a less than positive feel. I pulled the valve stems, removed the springs on the handle end of each stem, and remounted the stems. This solved both problems. The designer placed these springs to create frictional resistance between two surfaces connecting the handle and stem. If I figure out the purpsoe, I may take a run at replacing them. At this point both valves operate quietly and with a positive feel.
I consider these three situations minor annoyances, far from significant design problems.
I moved up to the Vetrano from a Pasquini Livia Auto 90 that I purchased in 2004. Had I known about the Vetrano or, at least, understood the huge advantage of a rotary pump the Livia would never have been in the running. It was a good stqrter machine and produced better than average espresso.
During the six year service period I replaced the group head gasket once a year, replaced two pressure stats, and replaced the three way valve. The problem that finally soured me on the Pasquini was the failure of the CPU / control switching unit. The black box cost over $350 + shipping for a unit in service less than four years at the time of failure.
Neither the New York vendor nor the California Pasquini office was either understanding or cooperative.
Ergo, no more Pasquini.
The service I have rec'd from the vendor, Chris' Coffee, during startup of my Vetrano tells me I will not face the "Pasquini failure syndrome" with this unit.
My buying experience was excellent. This is a hearty compliment to the vendor, Chris' Coffee. Their techs bench test each machine before it is shipped. The setup and operation CD that Chris supplies is excellent.
When I email Chris' Service I receive a response within a day or two. IMAGINE THAT!!!! When I telephone Chris' Service I am able to speak to a live human being who understands the product and is willing to answer user operation, repair, adjustment questions. POSITIVELY AMAZING!!!!
I may may be the world's number one cynic on vendor response and service. Chris' Coffee is a rare and very welcome exception to the bone head excuses that pass for service in most of the retail sector.