Buy one, you won't regret it. She's a beautiful machine.
Positive Product Points
Beautifully engineered and built machine. Very solid, heavy, and attractive. Brews amazing espresso shots and steams great for a home machine.
Negative Product Points
Temperature control of the boiler is poor, but no worse than any other home class machine. For the price point of the machine, it is a screaming bargain.
I bought my Silvia from Lee at 1st-Line.com for $389 with the commercial portafilter, shipping included. The commercial portafilter is much heavier than the stock portafilter and just feels great in the hand.
Right away, I was pulling some great shots and learned how to steam milk pretty well. I did notice some inconsistency to the espresso due to the wide variations in temperature within the boiler. This is a well documented phenomenon on alt.coffee. I have since modified my Silvia with a PID temperature controller which holds boiler temp. to within a few degrees, making the shots much more consistent. There are several tricks floating around to work around the temperature issue without resorting to machine modifications which most likely void the warranty.
Nevertheless, shortcomings aside, the Silvia is no doubt the best machine for the home user on a budget that cannot or will not spend $800, $1000, or more on an espresso machine. It has the build quality of a commercial machine on a smaller scale and should last for ages if cared for.