I haven't kept up on the latest machines but if this is your first foray into the espresso world, as it was for me, it is well worth the price.
Positive Product Points
Anita is like a 1973 Porsche 911: there aren't any bells, whistles, or flimsy cup holders, it doesn't have computerized innards, torque vectoring, hydraulic engine mounts etc that your newer 911's (or perhaps some espresso makers) have, and is sometimes temperamental. It's simply built to get from point A to point B reliably and fast. Anita does just that. She's a simple and easy machine to maintain (eight years running for me). There is a slight learning curve in understanding single boiler machines, but once achieved, as evidenced with Anita, they are excellent and easy to use.
Negative Product Points
The pump is loud.
I joined CoffeeGeek eight years ago as part of my research in finding a functional, economic, and reliable espresso maker. At that point I had owned various contraptions and never knew that such commercial looking/bahving machines were available for home use. After joining the forum I poured over every online article I could, learning about pressure, temperature, consistency, tamping styles, perfect shots, the even better so-called God shots, latte art, bean roasting, single boiler, double boiler, E-61, PID-ing, and the list goes on. I labored over every detail and finally settled on the the Anita by QuickMill after reading all the reviews and realizing that this could be an excellent machine for the foreseeable future. I haven't looked back since.
On average ( accounting for vacation time, large parties, etc) I've made 2 double shots a day for the approximately 2865 days that I've owned the machine. Until recently the machine sat in the on position for about six hours a day. Two weeks ago I purchased a digital strip outlet with timer which now relegates me to a two hour window in the morning (and allows me to sleep-in the extra half hour while Anita warms).
This machine has travelled with me from Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, and now lives in NYC. To date I've had only one part fail on the machine (the pressure state). It was an easy $30-40 part to swap. Other than that repair, backflushing with water a couple times a week and maybe an annual backflush with chemicals, I haven't done any maintenance to the machine. None whatsoever. I keep it clean and that is it.
Out of curiosity I called the vendor today inquiring about new shower heads and seals. I figured that surely these should be replaced. The service department was somewhat surprised that I hadn't done anything to the machine in the eight years of ownership. I learned that I could actually remove, clean, and replace the shower head if needed. I pried out the head removed the gasket, cleaned a little sludge from the backside of the shower screen and inspected the gasket. The gasket is still pliable, can be bent, and has some very small superficial cracks on the outside. I reassembled, put the backfulsh blank in and fran the machine and still no leaks. I'm truly amazed. This is how products should be built!
To this date my only gripe is that the pump is loud. I'm certainly used to it, and my Pavlovian response is generally positive--especially when, on sleeping-in, I hear the my wife pulling a shot (smiling secretly knowing she's making me a cup).
If there were a way to insulate the pump for sound, I would do it in a heartbeat. But this is an insignificant detail to an otherwise fantastic machine--the true test being my wife who doesn't mind hearing Anita grunt.
Sales and support (the two times I've called) are excellent.