The whole entire reason why machines of this class use Pressurized portafilters, is to compensate for a grinder which isn't very capable of the precision required for grinding espresso. People usually upgrade them to a non-pressurized portafilter only after they upgrade their grinder and want to take advantage of it.
I don't have personal experience with this machine, but a few forum members have recommended this machine as a starter machine for people who are on a tight budget. Check out this page: "Saeco Aroma Espresso - All"
Please read the reviews of this machine on this site. If you can add an extra $300 to your budget, you could start out with something a bit higher end like a Gaggia Baby coupled with a Baratza Virtuoso. That puts you around the $700-ish mark. Suddenly, spending that little bit extra pushes you straight into a class of machines which are capable of preparing espresso properly without using a pressurized portafilter.
What is the difference between the black and the stainless steel model?
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