Good espresso, but maybe not for the faint of heart.
Positive Product Points
Looks great. Steams milk like a champ. Heats quickly. Built like a tank of quality, thickly plated metals. Minimal electronics to fail. Makes first class espresso. Small footprint.
Negative Product Points
Seems very sensitive to tamp and grind. Small drip tray. Must cool before can be refilled. Must wait before removing filter after shot for pressure to subside. Base is too small - machine wants to tip over when lifting the lever and while pulling the shot if you don‘t hold it down. Still trying to figure out why it costs so much.
There seems to be division in the espresso ranks between lever and pump powered machines. I‘ve never used a pump machine, so I can‘t comment on the relative merits or difficulties of the two types of machine. However, getting good espresso from any type of machine is not a simple task, the Pavoni included. From day one I was getting good espresso from it, but at about a 50% success rate. After a few months of pratice (and the purchase of a Rocky grinder) I now probably only toss about 1 out of 5 shots down the drain. So yes, with a bit of pratice you can get good espresso from this machine. I suspect my next machine (not that this one will ever break - the way it is built I expect it to last 25 years or more) will not be another Pavoni, but if this was the only machine I could have, I could live with that. I do wonder if it is a little overpriced at USD 450.