My Salavatore Semi Automatic should serve me well for the next 8-10 years, or until I get upgrade-itice.
Positive Product Points
The overall appearence and build quality of the machine is excellent. After a short set up time, I needed only 3 attempts to "dial in" my shot.
Negative Product Points
Drip tray is just too small. No indictator for water level. It has been a bit over a year, and the pressure gauge is showing erratic reading. The steam pressure is not holding while steaming milk. Wendy sent me a replacement pump which I installed, but no change. I am currently waiting to hear back from the company with the next suggestion.
For the price I paid of $1300, including having it made plumbable, I find this machine to be agreat value. The design is beautiful, and it is not your tyical E61 lever machine. The fit and finish of the construction is excellent. You can tell that this design was a labor of love.
But as I mentioned in the "negative points" section, the drip tray needs to be atleast twice as big, and needs to have a better way of removing it from the housing. As it is, you need to tip it to get it out from the frame. It is a very shallow tray, and tipping it has not yet caused spillage, but I can certainly see how it could happen.
I wish there was a water level indicator of some sort to let me know when the resevoir needs to be refilled. I am planning on plumbing it in, so I suppose this will, at some point in time become a non-issue, but until then, I just think it makes sense to let the user know when it needs water. Heck, even a basic window of some sort would be helpful.
My communication was with Wendy, and she was very helpful and informative. She re-assured me that the machine would be delivered in the configuration and it was. The packaging was excellent and the machine arrived in perfect condition actually a bit ahead of schedule.
Three Month Followup
Still happy with my purchase. Makes a great cup and does everything I need beautifully. I tend to get caught up in the details when doing my research, and when it comes down to it, bottom line, this machine does what I need, and that is to produce a great espresso with excellent creme. Yes, the drip tray remains smaller than I would like, but the lack of a water level indicator proved to be a non issue.