Many equipment upgrades seem to be largely ego-driven and deliver only marginal benefits; this machine takes the espresso experience to a whole new level.
Positive Product Points
Appearance and consistency of results are major positives.
Negative Product Points
Haven't had the machine long enough to develop a love-hate relationship yet but based on experience so far, I doubt that I will. Negatives are so minor as to be nit-picking quibbles.
I decided to move up from a La Pavoni pro lever I have had and enjoyed for several years for the usual reasons - the results were ranging widely from great to average and could produce only a limited number of acceptable shots for social occasions. The Isomac has solved these problems. I owned and really liked an old Rotel Espressomat several years so I had some experience with a decent pump machine before buying the La Pavoni. I experienced somewhat of a learning curve with the Isomac Tea but nothing insurmountable. Once the grind, amount and tamping is mastered, the results have been consistently terrific; I'm experiencing for the first time things others describe as espresso nirvana. No need for me to belabor the many positive comments made by others.
After doing extensive research here and elsewhere I concluded that all machines in this bracket have their loyal fans; the one thing everyone seems to agree on, I discovered, is that doing business with Chris' Coffee Service is a great experience - mine was no different. Sadly my Tea arrived with some electrical problems which caused the boiler to overfill. Having played around with and had similar experiences with fairly high end hifi equipment I was able to take this frustrating setback in stride. Chris did everything possible to solve the problem long distance - emailed digital photos of the guts of the machine, was available by phone and email late at night, weekends and even from the golfcourse on a Friday afternoon! All to no avail so the machine went back to the shop and was turned around the same day it arrived. The commitment, knowledge and good humor that Chris demonstrated in solving this customer's problem is remarkable for any business these days, much less one that sells through the impersonal internet. Regardless of which machine one chooses to buy, and I can wholeheartedly recommend this one, Chris' Coffee Service is the place to buy it.