Well-made machine that makes me smile every time I use it.
Positive Product Points
Rotary pump. Less quiet than I thought, but good. Easy to change from pour-over to plumbed in. I have a Flojet which works just fine. Big boiler and very tight pressure deadband. Extremely well-built with quality components. Easy to open up; four screws to remove the top tray, two 10mm bolts and your in. Great steaming capacity. Tried the Expobar single-hole tip, but went back to the stock tip.
Negative Product Points
Probably not as elegant looking as some of the other machines at this price point. To me, it has an honest functionality that I find very attractive. I like that it's heavy. I've read criticism about the feet; they're fine with me.
My only suggestion would be to disable the switch under the tank when the plumb-in lever is pulled. I have marbles in the tank to weigh the switch down. Minor point.
Might be better if the boiler was insulated, but it really does a good job of warming the cups.
I upgraded to this machine from two different Krupps machines. I knew the change would be substantial, but didn't realize how much. It was a toss-up between this and the Andreja, the rotary pump and easy ability to be plumbed in won me over.
The other positive reviews convey my feelings almost exactly, so I don't have much to add. My feelings are that in the several months that I've owned this machine, it's become like a friend. It is consistent and forgiving, and has given me the opportunity to grow greatly in my skills. We all agree around here that this machine has seriously spoiled us when it comes to going out for coffee.
The steam arm gets hot, but somehow having it come through brass suits me better than whatever the synthetic flexible tubing that the "no-burn" arms have.
Alex appears to be well-known in Europe; quite a bit of anecdotal information on TMC was very helpful.
Angela and Chris at Chris Coffee were greatly helpful. It felt like Chris wasn't satisfied until I was satisfied. Given the choice again, I would buy another Alex without a second thought.