Bezzera Duo DE - a good E61 alternative?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
AndersHP

#1: Post by AndersHP »

Hi all.

Been enjoying the hobby for 3 years now, and recently upgraded my original e61 Izzo Vivi for a Rocket R58. I absolutely love the look of my Rocket (and the e61 itself), but I am beginning to grow tired of this brewgroup. Especially the fact that I can taste whenever I need to do a chemical backflush (I do this once a month), but the backflush leaves the lever frictious and squeaking. Disassembly and relubing the cam solves this, but even after trying to do less chemical backflush and just water backflushing after each shot, my lever still starts squeaking after around a month. Rinse and repeat.

I really like the chrome espresso machines and this leaves machines like La Spaziale or Linea Mini/Micro out of the question, although these are highly regarded.

I was looking at the Bezzera Duo DE though, but cannot seem to find much user-reviews online. This seems like the perfect e61 alternative while still preserving some of the looks of these classic espresso machines? But being used to a sturdy, mechanical e61 that just works day after day, I was wondering...:

1. Are these machine sturdy and high quality, comparable to say Rocket and ECM?
2. Are the more technical sides of these machines making them harder to maintain by yourself?
3. What about the software of the display - is everything working nicely?
4. Any other caveats? Would a switch from R58 to a Bezzera Duo DE make sense or feel like a "downgrade"?