Well worth the investment. The Ferrari of home espresso machines.
Positive Product Points
Wonderful, consistently great espresso once you figure out correct grind/tamp. Beautiful stainless steel body is easy to keep clean, and looks fantastic on the counter. Heavy, solid machine: unlike most home machines, this one doesn't creak, twist and move around when you insert the portafilter. Strong pump, but still reasonably quiet.
Negative Product Points
Tamper is too small. And she requires a fine grind, which means I now have to go spend $300 on a quality grinder!
A wonderful machine, well worth the money. Quality construction with all brass on the inside, unlike many other expensive home machines (the Starbucks Barista, for example). Comparing the guts of this machine to the inside of a Barista, I was told, is like comparing a 12 cyl. Ferrari to a 4 cyl. Honda. To carry this analogy further, Silvia makes my old De Longhi look and run like a Pinto. This isn't the best machine available for homeowners, but from all my research it's the best one priced under US$500. If I spent US$1000 I could probably get something better (the Rolls Royce of home machines, I suppose), but then I wouldn't be able to afford beans.