What are you waiting for? This is the best machine in it's class....
Positive Product Points
Easy to get decent cafe-grade espresso shots. Solid utilitarian build quality.
Negative Product Points
Expensive in Asia.
Just got delivery of my Sylvia and Rocky after having done all my research. This purchase was made after going from a Krups XP4050 to a Saeco Via Venezia and still not finding a decent shot of espresso. Why do they all come out sour and bitter? I'd had more luck with the Via Venezia, but it was still hit and miss.
Got the Sylvia/Rocky combi and immediately noticed that the quality of shots pulled jumped up significantly. The large adjustment range on the Rocky made it easy to dial in the grind to give that elusive 20-22s pull that was near impossible with the Krups grinder and Via Venezia. Now the only thing left to do is to find a way to keep coffee beans fresh in asian climates.
The 3way value gives a pleasing dry cake when you bang out the grinds after a pull. The switches feel solid. And portafilter feels commercial grade. The base pulls the Sylvia/Rocky together beautifully. What can I say? It's all good - why didn't I just make this investment in the first place?
An additional mention to Ross Bright of Spinelli Coffee for taking the time to take me thru the espresso machine options, delivering the gear, and spending 1 hour dialing in the grinder, pulling the first shots, and generally talking coffee with me for an hour.
Three Month Followup
This is still a great machine that makes great espresso. However, the price you need to pay is patience, experimentation, and constant adjustment to get that great shot time and time again. Changes in temp and humidity (I am in Asia, can you say 90% relative humidity?) really make a difference and require adjustments to grind and tamp to keep on getting it right.
In the end, I got upgrade fever, and plonked for a prosumer Vibiemme Domobar Super that could brew espresso and steam milk at the same time. I largely drink milk drinks (flat white, latte) and this was a convenience I had to have (I love hindsight). Plus the E61 makes brewing far more predictable than the Silvia.
If I had a budget that wouldn't stretch to a prosumer machine, the Silvia would still be my first choice.