I already owned Rancilio's Silvia, received a number of months before the Rocky. I did not think that this would be too much of a problem as I live only a few blocks away from one of the truly great coffee houses here in the states. Just a short walk and I could buy freshly roasted, ground beans that I could then immediately use to feed to Silvia. For the most part this worked out okay, at least while the climate remained stable. After a period of time, when the weather became a bit less predictable, I simply could not consistently pull a proper shot. I was all over the map experimenting with tamp pressure, as I had no other choice, but still no joy.
Rocky changed all of that. Now I can fine tune my grind as needed for those consistently great shots. I can understand the appeal of the infinitely variable grind option available on other machines, but Rocky's metered system (via set detent or "click" settings) has worked wonderfully for me. My wife and I also drink drip coffee and I like the fact that I can easily dial the grind up for the drip machine (grinding directly into the drip filter thanks to the doserless design). To switch back to the grind setting for espresso is easy enough with the indexed metering system. For example, I'll grind at "10" for espresso, switch to "20" for drip, and back to "10" once again for more espresso - nice!
The doserless design works great for me. As mentioned above, I need to grind for both epresso and drip. In addition, I'm not cranking out a massive amount of espresso on a daily basis, so grinding directly into the portafilter makes perfect sense. I grind what I need and thats it. This machine is far more quiet than my old Braun burr grinder that I owned for so many years (which by the way, as it has been stated before, cannot grind fine enough for espresso). Nevertheless, it is louder than I had expected based on what I have read. I ended up removing the portafilter holder/fork. It worked fine and had no problems holding the portafilter. However, setting the portafilter on the holder and leaving it there as Rocky ground away made things even noisier. I don't really have a problem holding the portafilter under the chute while the beans grind anyway and it makes it easier for me to grind directly into the drip machine filter when grinding for coffee. I do end up with some grounds on the counter top, but I've come to learn that no matter how hard I try, I'm going to have a bit of a mess to clean up by the time I'm done making espresso anyway. Simply one more spot to wipe up, no big deal.
All in all I have been very pleased with this machine and more importantly with the resulting espresso shots that I am now pulling.