For the price, this is the best prosumer machine. Unless you want a plumbed-in model, the Anita is the hands down winner in this class. Buy yours from Chris' Coffee.
Positive Product Points
Beautiful to look at, fun to use, easy to operate, easy to clean. large reservoir, good temperature. makes excellent coffee.
Negative Product Points
Have to warn visitors not to scald themselves. Measure the height between your counter and your cabinets; this machine could be too tall for many standard kitchens, and you need clear overhead access to the top. The portafilters are balanced towards the handle, so you have to hold it level when it is on the spokes of the grinder. Other brands will sit there on the level with no manual assistance.
I considered many machines and read many reviews but chose the Quickmill Anita for several reasons. It seemed to have a reputation for quality, and it seems to be very true. I like the look of machines with the brew group exposed in front. I looked at the Expobar, but was concerned about the quality of the details. The Anita seemed to deliver more for the money.
I upgraded from a Rancilio Silvia, which was a good training device, but did not quite produce the perfect drink. Right away with the Anita I was pulling espresso shots that looked and tasted perfect. I was producing microfoam and pouring stunning rosettas within a few days. This was never possible with the Silvia. Also, I discovered when making a cup of tea from the Anita's water wand, that my Silvia had never really produced hot enough water. The temperature of the Anita's water, shots and steam is apparently perfect. I can do no wrong with this machine.
I would never go back to a machine that could not steam milk and brew espresso simultaneously, meaning a single boiler machine that requires temperature adjustment and waiting around. That is such a bad way to make cappuccino!
Anita and I get along perfectly. The Anita continues to impress me and I would repeat the same choice again today. The only thing that would make me consider a change or upgrade would be a kitchen remodel with the installation of a dedicated water line. But this reservoir system is fine for now. Cleaning is easy and it's even fun to back flush it. I suggest you park yours near the sink so you can easily empty the drip tray, and as I'm sure every owner has discovered, it's easier to refill the reservoir with a jug than to lift it out and in each time. Also, save time by not putting cups on the warmer. You'll have to keep taking them all off to refill the reservoir. A dash of water from the wand and quick swirl is a better way to pre-warm a cup for the shot.
I have a water filter for my kitchen which prevents any scale from ever forming in the espresso machine.
I have to remember to tell visitors not to reach out and touch it, as a misplaced caress can produce a nasty scald in a split second if you pick the wrong spot. But with knowledge of the danger, these exposed brew group designs are so beautiful.
The retailer, Chris' Coffee was as perfect as any retailer I've ever bough anything from. Chris offered me advice when I ran into snags. I have had two issues. First, the float which activates the shutoff when the water runs low seemed to be failing to float intermittently. Chris replaced it and that problem was solved. The ring gasket for the steam nozzle stretched under compression. I asked Chris' Coffee if I could buy a replacement and Chris said use plumber's Teflon tape instead, which I did. Problem solved.
3 month update: I found it did not need either the washer or the tape. The machining is so precise the wand tip can go on naked with no leaks.
Any business with Chris' legendary level of service and care deserves success.
Three Month Followup
After 3 months of fairly heavy use, this Anita is good as new.
I imagined the milk steaming was taking longer, but then i realized it's just colder milk in the winter! So it really is good-as-new, and probably as clean as new, inside and out.
It is able to crank out a lot of boiling water for evening tea for the guests who are afraid of caffeine. While the boiler refilling is a bit noisy, it's very capable of keeping up with the party.
No regrets. Still strongly recommend this to others. Unless you plan on a direct water-line plumb-in or yearn for the quietness of a rotary pump. this may be the best machine for you at any price.
One Year Followup
After a year of daily use, the machine is good-as-new. Some of the polished steel surfaces have the patina that all shiny steel surfaces get if you wipe them ten times a day for a year, but the machine is consistent and easy to clean and has presented no problems.
I would still buy the identical model again, unless I could configure my kitchen for a plumbed in reservoir and drainage system machine, and even then I'd look at a Quickmill first. It is great.