It's built to last. Still looks great after daily use for over 3 years. Good consistent coffee.
Negative Product Points
I drink too much coffee now, it's addictive. The finish looks good when clean, but it quickly gets dirty. No tamper included.
This is my first quality Expresso machine (I had a $50 Krups effort before). I'm now a signed up coffee geek. When (if?) my Silvia gives up the ghost, I'll be right out to buy a new machine. I bought the machine in a general kitchen shop which had a range of different machines, I bought Silvia more for the looks than anything, but It's when I carried it to the car that I realized this was no pretty lightweight. 3 years later I'm very pleased with the purchase. It makes great coffee, looks great, and really is well built. Apart from an occasional (every year) de-scaling, and frequent wipedown it's been maintanence and trouble free. The machine is always on if I'm at home. I use almost exclusively pre-ground Illy coffee, but I've just ordered a Rancilio Rocky grinder (for £145 - approx $225). I get consistently good coffee with a good crema.
I bought the machine in a high-class kitchen store in Belgium for 500 Euro - (approx $500).
Three Month Followup
I took advice, and started back-flushing occasionally, there was so much gunk the first time around ;-) However, I've been unable to remove the screen for proper cleaning, as the screw is just too tight, and I don't want to break it. I guess 3 years of gunk have locked the threads solid. I've invested in a heavy tamper to use in place of the toy I used before. Those changes, plus a Rocky, and some Digital scales, and I've got it pretty well sorted, I love the coffee I can make. Silvia continues to be always on whilst I'm at home, and runs flawlessly.
One Year Followup
Miss Silvia died after 7 years :-( The symptoms were that it would trip my house circuit breakers if I turned her on. I took off the case for the first time, it's really nicely made inside. Anyway no obvious frayed or melted wires causing a short circuit. It's probably the element. Well, she has been on for about 30000 hours. So what do I do now?. Repair her, buy a new Silvia, or something else?. Well, I've just ordered an Isomac Tea, and will proably also get Miss Silvia repaired, to be used as a backup machine. Being without my morning espresso is an experience I don't want to have to have too often, so having a backup will be good. There's also quite a bit more to go wrong in the Isomac, so I doubt it'll be as reliable as the Silvia.