It's funny, if you read this forum enough you get the impression dippers are undesirable.....yet the Boscos are dippers. I don't have a strong opinion on the PID, honestly. It seems a bit excessive on a lever. The good about the PID is easy access to set the boiler temp without opening the case, and less wear & tear on the elements. The bad side is it's worse for steam performance, and my lights annoyingly flicker when a PID is on the line....the M21 has been a nice break from the Duetto's pulsing. (Strangely even my Keurig (commercial) causes the lights flickering. I assume they use rudimentary PIDs.))
No pump is a big deal though. Not because I care about pump noise on rotary machines, but that's a major breakable part to eliminate. I really really don't understand why the Achille runs the pump in plumbed mode. It's the only lever I'm aware of with that issue (other than HX assisted designs.)
It's a very hard call between the machines. Achille is cheaper, more robust physically (or so it looks), and a much bigger boiler. But has that annoying pump, a harder to access chassis, and has what seems like, based on some HB threads, "problematic" sight glass seals for which CCS isn't able to rapidly source parts.
I still wonder at times why ECM/Profitec is *so* highly priced for their machines. The Achille weighs more, *and* has a fairly expensive pro-con pump and motor along with a much larger boiler for a notable lower price. Same is true with various ECM/Profitec E61s. The PID controller adds $100 but that pump should add $250 at least.
I mostly fear the Profitec will feel too "consumer" and too much like the Duetto in hand, versus the more "robust" looking Achille.
I absolutely hear you about "what if I already have the perfect machine for me and don't know it" - I think that all the time! Duetto 2 isn't perfect for me. I love it, it's served me well, and I'm going to refurbish it. But....I recently acquired a Cimbali Jr.....and it's like an espresso dream. Insanely fun to use (I'd not have thought push button automatic was fun, but with the solid HX, it actually is!) , works with my workflow, beautifully robust and rugged, I love the commercial everything about it, and even using the stock 4 hole tip that everyone complains is far too much power, I'm making the best microfoam I've ever made. In many ways, it really is my perfect machine, and I feel silly still looking at the lever.
And yet....it's still...a complicated machine with a lot of parts to break...expensive parts. The lever would keep me running with more ease I think. And levers are always fun to pull. I adore using, and even just looking at the M21 in all its commercial glory, but I wonder if it's best left as a backup machine. I wonder, what if I'm injured or something and can't pull the lever for a period of time (a bruised rib a year or so ago made me think of that...a lever might have been physically unbearable to pull.) Might as well keep it mint and ready rather than wear it out....make a lever the day to day! Or so I keep telling myself.
I use my machines hard. It's on every morning of the year.....and I'd like to start running it more often in the evening as well.