I've tried a manual box grinder, and a cheap Melitta to feed my cheap Saeco Classico, but was only rewarded with foul, bitter liquid with no crema. For months I lurked around on Ebay trying to find a bargain on a nice used grinder with no success. After reading some scattered reviews on the Le'lit PL53, I called Jim at 1st Line and placed my order. I missed out on the original batch that sold for $200, so had to wait about 4 months (backordered) and pay a slight increase, but it was well worth it.
The Le'lit was well packaged and arrived unscathed. There was a miniscule amount of grinds between the burrs and spout, which tells me it was tested and somewhat dialed in at the factory, which is a plus in my book. I roast my own beans, and only had single origin for trials, but was immediately impressed! Grind was fluffy, with no clumps, and I got crema on first shot. Now when I order beans, I include some espresso blend.
Since the grind adjustment is stepless, and infinitely variable, two turns of the adjustment knob makes about a one second difference in the shot, depending on the beans. This is VERY fine! It also makes it an espresso grinder only, and a definite PITA to go back and forth from drip to espresso. This is not an issue for me, but may be for others.
As for the metal "dog ears" that support the portafilter, at least for me, the grinder dispense spout was below the top of the portafilter (inside the filter basket) and caused the grinds to back up the spout instead of falling out. Some quick work with a small hand grinder resolved that issue, and now I can adjust the portafilter up and down, as well as side to side. Now I get a little spillover into the catch basin, but nothing major. While I haven't measured the distance from the burrs to the spout, I would estimate no more than 15mm, which means very little grinds left in the chute. The remains in the chute can be mostly expelled by pulling up on the plastic hopper lid, then pushing down, causing the grinder to exhale what's left. Some examples of the first batch of grinders seemed to have an ill-fitting spout, that required lots of effort to remove, then getting the screw/knob back in place. My example is easy to remove and reinstall, making clean up a snap.