First machine & probably last machine I'll ever have to buy. If you're on the fence, spend your money now on this machine, and you will thank yourself later.
Positive Product Points
Very consistent pressure, temperature, and volume--the essentials. Pressure and temperature gages so you know what's going on. Push-button programming of volume and temperature. Lots of steam and a great tip design. Separate boiler can fill 1-liter presspot with hot water. Quiet pump. Programmable on/off timer. I like having water and drain plumbed in, but the new Mini Vivaldi II is available for those who don't want to deal w the plumbing.
Negative Product Points
I'm gonna have to be super picky to add anything here: ok, how about sometimes when the water fills there's a slight rattle, but when I nudge the machine on my counter it stops. This probably has more to do with the fact that I have a tiled countertop, where the tiles are not all 100% level so each foot of the machine might not be at the same level.
This is my first espresso machine, and it will probably be my last. I did a huge amount of research before I selected the Vivaldi II. I originally wanted to spend <$1000, but the more I read, the more I realized that I didn't want to spend my time listening to a noisy machine or spending time filling & draining, temperature surfing or hooking up other things to monitor pressure and temperature. I do that kind of stuff enough at my job as an engineer. I also realized I wanted two boilers, which has worked out really well. I make a lot of tea too and the boiler temperature is perfect for tea or presspot coffee. 4 months and no problems. I'm crossing my fingers that it will stay that way for a long time.
Also, two big thumbs up to Chris at ChrisCoffee. I bought my machine, grinder (Mazzer Mini Doserless B), and some Bumper accessories from Chris. Everything arrived ahead of schedule & in perfect working order. I ordered a few other accessories from some other places, and I have to say that between backorders, and other random mistakes made by the others, ChrisCoffee stands out above the rest.