Probably the best value in an E-61 based heat exchanger. Rotary pump, plumbed in supply, plumbed drain, no-burn wands. The quality of the polished steel casing is great - cleans up with just a soft towel and shines beautifully. The machine itself is wonderful, but Chris' Coffee Service is really the star in this story. Can't possibly think of a better buying experience.
Negative Product Points
Hard to find fault with the great machine, but if I had to think of a few things to improve upon (and this is nit-picking), they'd be:
(1) lower the plumbed drain hole or angle the tray toward the hole. As it is, the drain sits above the level of the drip-tray bottom and water and grounds will always collect there, so the tray never fully drains (adding a minor chore to your clean-up routine).
(2) I would not say that the steam/water knobs silky smooth, even though they're considered to be an upgrade. Sometimes, when you're in a rush to shut off the steam (like your little pitcher is about the overflow), it's easy to over-tighten the knob, making turning them on again more difficult (like they're stuck). Personally, I'd love to see levers instead of knobs, but I'm sure that would dramatically increase the price.
(3) For a rotary machine, I still find it a little buzzy -- even after getting the new pump mounts. While it's much, MUCH quieter than a vibe machine, I think the pump could be isolated a little better or the shell/drip tray tightened up a bit to really make the machine stealthy quiet.
Once again, great machine and a great value. The Vetrano makes exceptional espresso and the steaming capabilities of this beast are awesome. Like any new machine, getting the proper technique down-pat takes some practice, but in no time, I was frothing to perfection.
Once I got my machine plumbed in and ran it for a week, I did need to adjust the brew and boiler pressures. Chris has instructions online and technical support is only a phone call away. Having a plumbed in machine was a necessity for me because I had no room to install a full-sized espresso machine in my kitchen. I set up an espresso bar in my dining room and did not want to start shuttling water (and drainage) back and forth to the kitchen. Plumbing into my water supply and drain in the basement below the dining room was easy and makes it so easy to pull a shot at a moments notice -- no need to worry about checking to see if the reservoir needs to be filled or the drip tray needs emptying.
I make about 40 double shots per week, perhaps half of those milk-based drinks and have been very pleased with this machine. My only (minor) gripes, noted above, should not deter anyone from considering a Vetrano. I researched for months before buying and determined this was the best plumbed-in heat exchanger. I had considered a double-boiler double-PID machine like the Alex Duetto, but I don't particularly like reducing an art to a science, so I take a Zen-like approach to espresso brewing -- much better to be a musician than an accountant.
Currently discounted $200 from Chris' Coffee and Chris is tops in terms of customer service. My machine arrived a day after placing my order (I'm only one state away). It was well packed and Chris sent me everything I needed to plumb it in after discussing my needs with him on the phone. After reading all of the positive buying experiences people have had with Chris' Coffee, I decided first on the vendor, then on the machine. Can't say enough good things about Chris and his staff. If I were buying a Maytag or a Sony, I might be more inclined to discount the importance of the supplier. Buying a niche of product, though, I recommend shopping for a supplier uber alles.