After about three years of doing the espresso thing with a very entry level Delonghi Bar 32 Retro combined with a Capresso 565 Infinity Grinder, I'm finally throwing down for a Rancilio Silvia with installed PID and a Baratza Preciso Burr Grinder. Seattle Coffee Gear has a pretty good package deal going.
To be honest, the Delonghi Bar 32 has been a decent little machine considering it can be had for under $100. It's pressurized, but I did some modifications getting rid of the pressure valve. I was actually pulling decent shots out of it. In fact, using a Kona blend from a local roaster I was getting shots that made you step back and go, "Dayum."
The problem is that it only lasted about 1 year. This was actually my second one; the first one lasting about a year, too. It can almost be considered a decent, disposable, 15 bar pump driven, starter machine.
Anyway, there's a big empty spot on my counter in which a Silvia would go quite well. Also, it shouldn't be too many years until the price of the Silvia compares to buying a new Delonghi every year or so.
I've heard that the Silvia requires a lot of futzing with grind and tamp until one "gets it down". That should suit my ADD nature quite well.
Finally, any tips or information from those of you who are experienced with the Silvia would be greatly appreciated.