Someone I read once said, Only a true romantic would buy one and go through so much for a cup of coffee.....enough said.
Positive Product Points
Construction is solid and made to last a lifetime. Don‘t drop this on your foot. The automatic frother is great and takes some time out of the learning curve (I used to burn my milk alot by getting it too hot). It‘s design is sculpture, a true Italian work of art.
Negative Product Points
I was disappointed the filter group didn‘t have a catch for the portafilter. This makes dumping hot,packed grounds an interesting proposition. The pressure guage is also a neat visual, but not really too useful. It‘s also a bit awkward to pour your water into the boiler, I use a large measuring cup with a pour lip. Just remember, cleanup is part of the romance.
I purchased mine on-line from Bella-Italia. I was not sure if ordering from Europe was the way to go, but it turned out great. My machine arrived in good shape and it took about a week. Stand by with your wallet for the UPS delivery man...add $15 US duty and $25 "other fees" onto the price. All in all, I still got it much cheaper than any U.S. distributor that I had found. The learning curve to operate isn‘t that terribly long....my first attempts were bitter drek, but after getting the grind and tamp down, I had crema and a smile. When you first use it, use a great quality coffee (like Illy‘s). I found Illy‘s was just a tad too fine for my machine, so I barely had to tamp. I started getting pretty consistant results after a few tries. If you tamp too firmly with Illy‘s, plan on replacing your O-rings on a regular basis. After too long, you‘ll be buying a grinder to to keep your LaPavoni company. All in all, I love it. IT IS WORK INTENSIVE. Espresso with a Pavoni is truly part science and part theater.