Super high build quality - everything is solid, removable hopper, stepless grind adjustment, ability to buy parts, enourmous help available from CoffeeGeek forums, timer on/off switch.
Negative Product Points
Some may have difficulty turning the stepless grind adjustment ring, doser can get messy, electrical cord placed in awkward position, may not fit under some USA counters
This is the definitive "prosumer" grinder backed by CoffeeGeeks who know it all. No need for any "teflon tape modifications" that plague the second runner up (Rancilio Rocky). This grinder is meant for commercial use, so many of the "excess" parts need to be removed: i.e. fingure gaurd and parts of the doser. It is very simple to remove these parts, yet you may want to leave it as is. No special tools required except maybe an "S" shaped screw driver.
I bought this to replace 2 defective Rancilio Rockys. I was really happy with the Mazzer the minute I saw the box. First, it is shipped VERY WELL: insulated with molded foam which makes a solid package. This is different from the Rockys that need to be double-boxed and often lead to cracked dosers (Rancilio uses peanut foam for their 20lb grinders - horrible choice). The mazzer is heavy, signifying its incrediable build and longevity. I do not worry about anything breaking except the hopper if I drop it and then fall on it.
Lets talk about the doser: I don't particularly care for dosers, but I did not want to spend the extra $200 on the mini-E doserless version. With that said, I've grown to appreciate the doser. I removed the fingure guard (very simple and intuitive) and keep a paint brush handy to keep things tidy. The doser is messier than the Macap M5, but this issue is minor compared to the reason why we have a grinder (to grind!). The doser is manufactured very well, with a removable (inside) hard plastic lining that can be cleaned. One of the doser viens has a little vertical "stick" that keeps the doser walls relatively clean. Mazzer really put a lot of thinking into the doser and it shows. There is also an adjustable dosage that only needs the twist of a wrist to move between 7 and 9g doses (I could be wrong on the actual gram amount, but that is close). This is a sign of its commercial use and will probably not be changed too often by us home users.
I love the hopper! It is removable and has a "cut-off" at the bottom so you can keep the hopper full of beans. The cut-off leaves about 2-3 doubles of beans in the chamber, so there will be some beans left. With a little scoop, you can take out those beans and have about 1 double left in the chamber. The hopper is plastic and can be cleaned with the same stuff you use on your dishes. Clean hoppers make me smile =)
The stepless grind adjusting ring is probably its most noteworthy feature. No more dealing with "clicks", this lets you adjust small enough to make the smallest changes in grind. The only draw back is the adjusting ring can be hard for some people who don't have a strong grip. I did not have a problem with this, but I was told by a vendor that some woman may have a hard time. Don't let this discourage you - it isn't so hard to turn but it does require a bit of force. I don't think Grandma can turn it, but I would estimate 85% of people can turn it without problem.
The cord is positioned on the left side of the machine. I'd like to see it on the back, but this is so minor. Once agian, this is an effect of its commercial use. The cord has some sort of thing on it so you can't twist the cord to where it breaks. Neat. Once again, Mazzer really thought this out.
The doser is chrome and the grinder body is not shiney. I think it looks cool, but I'd prefer a wild color like orange or red - offered on the Mazzer website but I've never seen it for sale to USA customers (probably a voltage issue). None the less, the apparence is cool and will make your kitchen look better. I've seen it in black online a few times.
The doser has a removable tamper that can be in 2 positions. I use it sometimes between doses to level the grounds. Some blends do better packed liked this, while some don't. This plastic tamper shouldn't replace a real tamper, but it does serve a purpose.
Now the most important: grind quality. Compared to my Rocky, the Mazzer is an improvement as noticed on my Silvia. Its hard to really tell if grinds are uneven (at least for me), so I can't attest to its grind quality, but the proof is in the cup, and the proof is noticeable.
Chris' Coffee in Albany, NY (online sale). I ordered a Rocky DL and wasn't satisfied and Chris himself offered to pay for the delivery of the Rocky back to him. He always has free shipping on stuff over $50. I was lucky to get the grinder @ $400.00 - the price is rising due to the Euro.
Three Month Followup
Absolutely nothing bad to say three months later. While I still would love a doserless version of the Mazzer Mini, I've grown used to the doser and don't mind it so much. I've recently taken off the top burr carrier to clean inside the burrs and was able to replace the top burr without any problems. The Mazzer Mini has definitely lived up to it's expectations in grind/build quality. Recently, the price has gone up, so grab them while they are cheap.
One Year Followup
No complaints - that's as good as it gets! I know grind per dose to keep the beans fresh, but it also makes things easier. I've discovered that one espresso cup full of unground beans yields the right amount to fill a triple basket.
The grinder works great and I really have nothing bad to say about it!!