Just my opinion, but the most logical choice for the money. For me, I would only go from here to a double boiler rotary (maybe when I retire and have plenty of money!)
Positive Product Points
Ease of adjustments. Quality of looks/finish tops. Instruction manual good. I'm no expert, but quality of componets seems solid. When shipped, Anita came double boxed and very secure. The UPS people would have had to make an effort to cause any damage in shipping - nice touch Chris!
Negative Product Points
Boy, would have to nit pick here...grooves on steam wand undesirable. Plastic sticker for on/off and steam symbol cheesy. Honestly can't think of anything else. Probably so happy because I did so much research and knew exactly what I was getting - no surprises or disappointments.
I've worked with a Silvia for two years. I was very happy with my shots, but was tired of the limitation of a single boiler as far as multiple milk based drinks, or switching between straight/milk and having to let boiler heat/cool. I was just tired of having to work at the pace of the machine. With Anita, the only limitation is how fast I can work!
Received in top shape. Brew pressure/boiler pressure both too high for what I wanted. I had a Jaeger stat installed, and the link on Chris website did not give instructions for the Jaeger style (only stock stat). A simple call to Chris' support, and was told exactly how to adjust. If you adjust, definitely follow instructions as far as very small tweaking. Only turned slightly and was dialed in for 1.1 bar on the boiler. Then came the brew. My inexperience was evident, as I didn't know a blind basket would register a higher number than when pulling a shot. Anyway, with the blind, I now have mine set at 9.9 bar. This results in 9.5 bar during extraction. When adjusting the nut on the OPV, the plastic tubing will turn with the nut, and will bind if not addressed. Very simple to fix. When you turn the nut, you can simply pinch the tubing with two fingers around the bottom of the OPV and turn the plastic to counteract the twist made to the nut.
Another tip...if you remove the case on Anita, and then reinstall, you need to put screws back in a certain order to avoid having to fight with lining up the holes/screws (at least with my machine). Always screw the sides in first...the two screws in the back will still be a little tight, but easily manageable. If you put the back screws in first, you will work much harder trying to align everything.
I unscrew the steaming tip every morning and soak in water. This allows easy removal of residue in holes/grooves. The wand is easy to clean.
I have no doubt a plumb in would be nice, but not an option for me. Filling the reservoir is easy and no big deal to me. Just pull of the top and pour water in (sorry Chris, I don't remove the reservoir!) I do have a pass through counter, so it works out very nice - make drinks on one side, fill the reservoir on the other. I know I'm taking a chance of water spilling into the unit, but I have confidence in my ability, and the target is large! I personally cannot justify spending another 500 just for the convenience of plumb in, even if I had the ability. But, I also have a budget...if money was not really an object, and I could plumb in, I would (and I'm sure a rotary would be nice with it!)
Steaming no problems. Different than Silvia, but easy to adapt to and never runs out of steam.
Very happy at this point. Would recommend this upgrade to anybody considering going up from a Silvia. Becoming a better barista all the time. If any significant things/obersvations come up, will update this review.
I totally agree with Home Barista's evaluations as far as e-61's rating an 8.5 for quality of espresso, whereas giving Siliva a 7. Again, it's not a night n day difference, but I get definitively get richer/tastier/more complex extractions with Anita.
Don't try and twist the tubing on the OPV while machine is still hot...you will burn your fingers on the OPV valve. Also, if adjusting OPV nut, mark one of the surfaces with magic marker before adjusting. This will give you a visual reference point as far as range of adjustment made. It will make it easier to estimate how far you need to turn the nut during any future adjusting (saw someone else write that suggestion somewhere - it helped me.)
I see Chris has new Anita's in stock now (I got the discount on mine since it was the last demo Anita they had). Just wanted to add this info in case it might help the new owners get dialed in quicker.
Three Month Followup
5 month update: I realized there are infinite possibilites as far as rebound times, pressure settings, differences with beans, etc. to actually recommend even general guidelines. All I will say is if you take the time to learn with this machine, you will not be disappointed. I'm just as happy today with my purchase as the first day. And so is my wife : )