Vanelis says the warm-up time is 12 minutes, which may be right, but I've never checked. You can speed it up by adding less water.
I do really like the Export, and my espresso just keeps getting better. I've never used any other lever so I can't compare. The shots are better than those I got over four years with pump machines, and better than most you get at cafes.
The PV's require three pulls to get a 1.5-2 oz. double, some other machines might do it in two pulls.
The Lusso is supposed to be less prone to overheat, and it holds more water. As I've said, I've never had an overheating issue, but I haven't tried. I may make several shots in succession sometime just to test. Its the same group, so the size of the shots are the same.
If you can find members who have used Ponte Vecchios and others such as La Pavoni, Cremina, Elektra, you could get better comparisons.
GreatDane wrote recently that shot quality of his Sama (pre-cursor to the Ponte Vecchio) compared favorably with his Cremina.
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."