Grinder is easy to use. I don't mind the excess ground coffee on the counter given that the coffee taste is wonderful. What does rpm really have to do with it if there is no static and the taste is great?
Positive Product Points
Grinder is quieter than the KitchenAid ProLine that I compared at the store. The retro looks terrific. The grinds seem uniform. There is no static (which I thought meant low rpm motor). Coffee taste is fantastic. My affirmative "buy again" qualifier is dependent on the response that I get from the manufacturer vis a vis the relatively high rpm.
Negative Product Points
All the ground coffee does not flow easily into the cup....some leaks. Manufacturer advises that they have developed a fix and are sending me a new machine in 5-7 working days at no cost to me. I was surprised, however, to hear that retro machines develops 18,000 rpm (from an AC motor?)--- I think that 18,000 rpm is far too high for a machine in this category but would like to hear the reactions of other readers. I am told that the ProLine model produces 450 rpm from a DC motor due to gear reduction (no one at Williams Sonoma knew this). I also understand that both this machine and the ProLine have flat vs. conical burrs. I don't yet know the reason why the engineers chose flat burrs.
Buying a coffee grinder is a big headache. There are, of course, numerous online sellers with reviews a plenty. If I read the reviews correctly and understand the "talking heads" on the net, I gather that what I should have bought is a burr grinder w/ low rpm and conical burrs. Getting those qualities in a single machine with a "trusted" return policy that costs less than $200.00 is the challenge. Surprisingly, several retailers do not know what they are selling (several mentioned that they did not know what kind of burrs they had; others thought conical burrs tended to produce uniform grinds; others thought that low rpm is not good - but too high rpm is bad due to burnt beans and high static discharge; no one was able to quantify this "middle rpm"). On the other hand, all the retailers that I spoke to are willing to recommend their best seller with a year warranty (good luck!).
From a pragmatic view, I thought it might be good to look at reviews. However, it seems that even among the most expensive grinders, "problems" of one sort or another appear. So, I determined that I should purchase my grinder from a local seller who had a "no questions" return warranty. Williams Sonoma, though not entirely knowledgeable about grinders, fit the bill. So, out I went to the store w/ the intent to buy the ProLine version.
I bought the retro at $70.00 less because upon listening to both motors and being advised that the guts were similar, I didn't think that the price difference was worth it...incidentally, the retro model that I tested did not spew ground beans out of the cup (the one I bought spills a few grounds). If, in fact, this model's rpm is 18,000, I guess that I will "bite the bullet" and buy the more expensive model despite the great coffee taste that I get from my retro.
I guess I should have taken the manufacturer's web site info seriously, the retro is really a retro --- it's a 1930s design.
The manufacturer's response was terrific.
Williams Sonoma people are fine. Apparently, the manufacturer does not provide sufficient marketing materials to answer questions. Seller had literally no info on the retro machine.
Three Month Followup
I gave the grinder back to Williams Sonoma after I decided not to fool with the grinds spewing all over the place. I traded it in for the Pro Line Model and we'll see how that goes.....