I have found that people who know the machine know the Simona is a quality machine.
Positive Product Points
This machine is a sturdy, reliable coffee and steam maker. After a while you do not notice it anymore because it sits there quietly doing just what it is supposed to do. When I need it, it is there.
I grind my beans, I make my coffee.
My wife, seeing how fun and easy it is to make coffee, is now the family froth maker as she likes her lattes while I just stick to my simple espressos.
Negative Product Points
It is not as pleasing to the eye as some of the full chrome jobs, but it performs just as well, if not better. Don't forget this is not really a home machine its semi professional, so its function is simply to make good coffee and steam time and time again.
Over all I have to agree with the information in the review that was provided by Gregor. His review was to my mind very accurate.
The Simona is a very well built machine which was years ahead of its time and today still represents good value.
It's no beauty queen but it does the job of producing good coffee and steam without fuss.
The only problem I have had is that there is a very limited amount of information out there on it including user information and experience. In fact, I have only found one user group on the internet for the Simona. For those who are interested it is at http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/SimonaTopUser/ .
I had excellent experience with 9 Bar which is a coffee machine vendor here in Sydney, Australia.
Three Month Followup
I had been using a DeLonghi grinder at this time and it was frustrating. I initally though that the Simona's pump was just too strong and looked at ways to reduce it's power or the pressure in the tank.
One Year Followup
The machine continues to be a wonder. The only problem I have had over the last year has been a blocked tube which restricted water flow for a while. A simple service fixed that. My coffee experience is just about to be stepped up with the purchase of a Super Jolly grinder. I have always been frustrated with a short pull on my coffees because I have been using a grinder which did not grind fine enough. I have only had one coffee this morning using the SJ and it was mind blowing. The coffee came alive. I could taste things in it I had never tasted before. I think up until now I have not been getting the best out of the Simona, and I think that is the lesson.
If you’re not getting the 25 second draw on your beans then you need a finer grind. No matter how good the machine is if the grind is not there, then you will never get the best out of your coffee. What an Italian duo, a Brugnetti and a Mazzer, heaven!