Was the best home machine in its time, but no longer.
Positive Product Points
What can I add to all that has been said? Since most buyers are considering more than one machine, a comparison might be helpful. I agonized long and publicly before upgrading from a Rocky (currently around $250) to the Mini. Was it worth it? Yes, it was. Why? See below.
Negative Product Points
It's $115 well-deserved more dollars than the Rocky.
The hopper will not fit under most kitchen counters. Others have found work-arounds. Mine sits on a bar counter, where there is no clearance problem. [Edited: new hoppers are short and cabinet-friendly]
Mini vs. Rocky:
The stepless adjustment allows fine tuning that turns "pretty good" shots into great ones.
At its finest settings it allows you to brew certain commercial blends that can only be properly ground on commercial equipment.
It's about twice as fast as the Rocky. Doubles typically grind in 10 to 12 seconds, versus 18 to 23 seconds.
The doser is a solid, commercial design that is unlikely to break down.
The hopper is removeable for easy cleaning and slides shut at the bottom, allowing changes of blends (such as to decaff).
The doser spills little or no grounds on the handy little spill catcher once you master the technique (slow down a bit at the very end of each stroke). I lose maybe 1/4 teaspoon a week that way. Rocky wastes much more.
It looks soooo solid and professional.
I don't understand why some people dislike the side-mounted cord. It allows the machine to squeeze onto a shorter counter, if yours is against a wall, and it doesn't distract from the cool Mazzer nameplate on the back, if it's set on an open counter.
I ordered, it arrived in four days and has not needed any service.
Three Month Followup
See "1-year followup"
One Year Followup
This is actually a 4-1/2 years follow-up. Time has moved on and rendered my very enthusiastic review obsolete. Today (April 2008), if you are considering spending more than $400, and even if you are not, but can afford more, the La Cimbali Max Hybrid is a major step forward and probably the cream of the crop in home-friendly machines. It has made the largest improvement in my home espresso since I threw out my steam toy.