A few minor annoyances but dollar for dollar, the best espresso machine you can buy.
Positive Product Points
Potentially excellent espresso, easy to use, small footprint, good styling.
Negative Product Points
Lightweight, 57mm portafilter with weak spring, difficult to use reservoir.
Regardless of any negatives, this is a great machine. It's very easy to get up and running and makes quality espresso. Although it is frequently backordered, I received my Lelit PL041 from 1st line within two weeks of ordering. The machine comes with a 57mm portafilter handle, with three baskets: a single, a double, and an ESE adapter, a simple manual, and a plastic tamper. The switches are solid and laid out well (I read that 1st line has the Silvia styled switches and other dealers have the lighter weight silver switches.) The stainless is finished well, although lightweight and prone to some sharp edges especially the reservoir door and under the overflow. The door for the reservoir is not hinged although it does flip up and / or pull out to change the reservoir. The reservoir itself is a plastic bottle with a small neck threaded for a top. As a result, the overflow and pump tubes are a bit difficult to remove and reinsert.
My biggest two complaints: first, the machine is very lightweight. It is impossible to tighten the portafilter without also using one hand to steady the machine. With a stainless steel, hot machine with some sharp edges, this can present a problem, but it's mostly just an annoyance. Second, the portafilter spring is too weak. Maybe I am used to E61 type industrial springs, but I feel this one could use a stronger spring. When knocking out a puck, the basket frequently dislodges as well.
The good news is the machine makes excellent espresso and it's hard to screw up. The ESE adapter works fine, the single shot basket I couldn't get good shots from, but the double basket works great. I paired the machine with a Rancilio Rocky first and used Intelligentsia Black Cat. A six on my grinder (about the same as I use on my ESE Giotto) yielded a good shot, slightly long for a 25 second pull. Moving down a notch, the machine needed 30 seconds for a good shot but had a nice caramel flavor with a dark shot and a good crema without premature blonding. Next, I paired the machine with the Lelit grinder and also got very good results. The Lelit grinder has a bit too much spacing between steps and has some problems, but works well enough in combination to produce good shots.
I find the styling very nice. Simple, elegant, a bit professional looking with the stainless steel. I like the small footprint which saves valuable counter space. It's hard to imagine it not working (aesthetically) in a kitchen.
1st line was good. Their follow up was efficient letting me know the backorder status, shipping status, and tracking.