I just wanted to give my perspective on your situation. Superautomatics are very unpopular on this and other coffee forums. When I started out on my search for equipment, I was looking at a Gaggia Titanium versus an entry level Jura machine. After reading a lot of the sales literature on these machines, I became quite excited that I would be able to brew espressos and cappucinos myself at home without having to pay for them at the Au Bon Pain at work. As I began to delve deeper, I found this forum and CG, and after just a couple of days, I had been converted to the realm of the semi-automatic machine.
I am fairly type-A, and after all I had read, I decided that I wanted CONTROL of my coffee.
I ended up purchasing a Vibiemme Domobar Super and a Macap M4 stepless for about $1800. When the equipment arrived, I could not stop playing with grind settings, tamping pressure, etc. Unfortunately, I became frustrated, as I could not get a shot I was happy with, and I really didn't like the mess. The Vibiemme is a phenomenal machine, but it takes an hour to heat up and the pressurestat makes a loud click every 110 seconds or so that I could hear in every corner of my apartment. I therefore couldn't leave the machine on when I was sleeping as I would sit there just waiting for the inevitable, infernal click!
In the end, I had an extended period of time where I just didn't use the machine as it took too long to make coffee in the morning (I was still paying for coffee at work after my substantial investment!). The hassle of trying to turn the machine on early enough so it would be warm, then doing the cooling flushes, grinding, tamping, etc. was just too much. I sold my equipment online to two wonderful people who are getting much more use out of it than I would have, and I purchased a Saeco Talea Ring Plus with the money I received from the sale. I have gained a great deal of respect for users here who work with E61 HX machines, but I have also realized that I was not meant for a semi-automatic. What others will likely say is that the use of a semi-auto gets much easier with practice and experience, and that is likely true. The sad truth is that I am just NOT a morning person. I wake up at the last possible second that I can, and am rushing to get out on time. With my Saeco, I can turn the machine on, have it heat up in 60 seconds, perform a blank shot to warm up the machine, and then brew my espresso. If I want a cappuccino, I take the milk island out, turn a knob, and I have foamed milk with no fuss. I can do all this while I brush my teeth, it is so easy. Another plus is that on the weekend, I can fiddle around with the steam wand and produce decent microfoam.
As this message is already insanely long, I will summarize by saying this: a manual or semi-automatic machine will give you better espresso with more control over the grinding/brewing variables, but at the cost of a steeper learning curve and more preparation time. Think hard about what your needs are -- there's no use in having equipment that is capable of producing regular "god shots" if it is never used...