Very easy to clean. Built like a tank. Simple attractive industrial look.
Negative Product Points
Took a while to get primed properly. Instruction manual loses quite a bit in translation, it is a bit sparse for a novice that does no research of their own.
All I can say is WOW. This little machine is awesome. It took me about 10 pulls to get it right when I first received it, but now every shot is a keeper. This is the first quality unit I have owned and I say viva la differance. I thought that living in Washington would at least allow me to find decent baristas at the local stands, but what I have found is that what I once thought was a very good product that I was receiving doesn't hold a candle to what I've been making with my Sylvia.
Taking advice from this site I invested in a decent grinder (Solis Maestro-the original for $110) I know its not the best but it has given me excellent results with consistancy so far. I use the 3rd dot below the espresso mark that seems to work best for my tastes. It's a bit light weight but for th price I'll use it till the wheels fall off. I have been using the espresso mix from specialtyjava.com with phenominal results, the coffee that is available in this town is questionable at best. Rich caramel shots with tons of crema with hints of blueberry. I don't think they are the so called God Shots, but they are so yummy I have yet to tast anything better. Watching that 30 second Guiness like pour is mesmerising. It's like I remember when I was a child waiting for my soda fountain cherry coke float.
Until I got Sylvia I had never liked espresso. I always would have cappucino's or mocha's but the shots that I've been getting with this combo of coffee, grinder and Sylvia are to die for. I find myself looking forward to getting home just so I can have another.
I cannot compare this to other high quality machines because it is the only one I have owned, however I could never see myself spending more money for an upgrade nor could I imagine getting a finer finshed product than this combo produces. So as far as I am concerned I have reached coffee nirvana, and each and every day I enjoy the nectar of the gods...