Solid Build and Performance in this price point, strongest contender.
Positive Product Points
2 Gauges, Reservoir Float boiler shutoff accuracy/ without disrupting shots, large Slide out Drip Tray, Commercial grade Single/Double Portafilters, Commercial looking Lights and Toggle--No Plastic to cheapen look.
Negative Product Points
For the Money, considering Price Point, I have not found anything yet to be dissapointed about. When compared to other machines for the same money (Expobar Pulser), what is to complain about!? Um, Plum-In would have been nice extra... but then they wouldn't have much to differentiate it from the Andrea.
I previously owned a Baby Gaggia, and more recently an Expobar Pulser. The Pulser is the closest to this machine, roughly the same price point and straight forward operation. The differences are stark, however.
I tried two Pulsers and neither could approach the Anita in performance or operation. The Anita has more ergonomic handles, easier to read indicator lights, etc. And it solidly outperforms the Pulser on brew and steam output; even quieter! The addition of a single portafilter is welcomed, so is the commercial look and feel of this machine. I peeked under the hood, it looks solid through and through.
Finally, I am content with the quality and consistency of my shots. Yes, there are better machines out there BUT I would venture to say it can't be had for less than a $400 upgrade. Price was very important to me, I cannot bring myself to spend more than a grand for my espresso addiction--that would suggest a mental imbalance and require counseling I suppose. I have come away feeling as though I got MORE THAN MY MONEY'S WORTH for the $900.
So far, Chris Coffee Service has proven themself top notch. Hopefully nothing will go wrong with my Anita require repair but if it happens I have a feeling they will be equally as thorough. A nice touch to have the owner of a small-to-mid size company available to the every day customer for basic questions!