The machine produces great crema right from the box. It heats up quickly and steams is ready within seconds. Commercial portafilter is heavy and constructed nicely with a large handle. Water resevoir is huge. Guage is a nice touch. The entire machine is heavy and constructed well.
Negative Product Points
Machine finish shows fingerprints easily, lights are hard to see in bright light, steam dial can be turned too much (there are no stops on it), machine was marked 240V although it runs on 115V.
I researched several machines in the price range coming down to either the Isomac or Rancilio Silvia; my friend has a Silvia and I have enjoyed great shots from that machine. When it came down to the actual purchase I decided on the Isomac due to its classier finish, commercial grade interior (52 Watt pump, in-line water filter, metal braided lines, larger boiler, larger drip-tray, and "eye-candy" gauge). I ordered the machine from 1st-line and got it within two days in a nice double-boxed package. I was a little concerned that the sticker on the bottom of the machine indicated a 240V machine even though it had a 115V plug, pump, and the original box said it was the 115V model. I contacted 1st-line and they said that the sticker was a oversight by the factory. The machine arrived in excellent condition. I plugged it in and it produced great crema's from the get go. The time to heat up and brew and steam were significantly faster than my friend's Silvia. The next day I introduced Venus to my friend and he is now very envious saying that my machine looks more attractive and works much better than his. When he found out my machine was only about $50 more than his he became more jealous. I switched out the original steam tip with the new two-hole from Chris Coffee and can make micro-froth with ease. The original tip was alright but for $7.00 the new tip is worth the investment. My only big complaints come from the fact that the mirrored finish is easily fingerprinted and that the steam dial seems to never stop turning (although a good two turns produces significant steaming power). For the extra $50 over the Silvia I beleive you are getting a better machine in looks, construction, and convenience.
Bought from 1st-line and had the machine in two days. The machine was double packaged to ensure its safe arrival. Great communication with company both in ordering and customer service e-mails.
Three Month Followup
After several months and a couple of hundred pulls this machine is still solid as from the first day. The flavor gets better with each pull and as I learn the best grind/coffee amount/time ratio. My only true complaint is that the steam wand could be a little longer for my 20-ounce pitcher and I wish that the portafilter fit the Marzocchi baskets. Still a 9 out of 10 and a positive experience.