A wonderful true entry level espresso machine that could easily be the last one you buy. A pleasure to own.
Positive Product Points
This a wonderful true entry level espresso machine. It is extremely capable (which is very reassuring for a novice during the early part of the learning curve). Super solidly built single boiler with three way valve design. Parts and information for it are very easy to find. Popular for a reason. Many hardcore folks move on to spend 2-3X more for their passion. I have spent less, and almost gave up. I am glad I didn't.
Negative Product Points
Small drip pan, Smallish water reservoir, throw away tamper, single boiler design only if your needs exceed its capabilites.
Last I looked, there were close to 178 reviews of this machine. The chance you will stumble on to this one is slim. I will try to be brief.
If you are trying to buy a machine capable of delicious espresso, like well-built things, don't need automation, like lots of great resources (knowledge and parts) available, a tremendous resale if you get upgrade-itis or want to bail, AND you want to budget less than a grand....this is probably your machine.
If you are looking to make multiple drinks (you will need to look at HX or dual boiler designs), are in love with E61 group head machines, or are just trying find the absolute cheapest entry level machine, you will probably need to keep looking.
I absolutely love my Silvia. I never considered myself a coffee lover. I do not like coffee, except when it is very good. Then, I really like it. Over the past 15 years I had a Krups steam toy and Starbucks Barista, and I was convinced it was impossible to have very good and consistent results at home. I almost gave up completely until I stumbled on this site and Home-Barista.com. I also watched with my jaw slacked at the coffee coming out these machines on YouTube videos.
I got over the fact I was going to have spend some money (which was hard for me). I was a little nervous given my previous experience. I realized I also needed to budget for a very good grinder ($250-350 min....I got a Rocky), I needed a real and correct sized tamper. Also, very good fresh beans.
The temperature surfing was a little intimidating at first glance, until I watched Mark Prince's YouTube video (link available on this site).
I had very good results right away. Beyond anything I was paying for. Far beyond what I was getting before.
I love to make espresso now. I look forward to it. I savor it. Everyday.
This was a great purchase.
I was fortunate. My machine is a 6 month old V2 (pod capable) Silvia in nearly new condition. I had no problems with my transaction and I got it for $400 shipped.