Apart from the fact that I just say that my Lelit Bianca has a small leakage I'm super impressed with the machine and I can highly recommend it!
I really love the fact that you can see the pressure at the puck in real time. No other machine on your list has this feature and for me it's a real dealbreaker! It's gives you so much more information when extracting then just knowing the internal pump pressure!
I was also a bit skeptical that the water tank is external but now I see the benefits: The water isn't heating up from the boilers. Its a breeze refilling the water even when the water tank is in place (no real risk of spilling into the machine). Also the tank is easily removed to clean or to refill at the sink. It also has a nice fitting for a filter inside the tank which I like. I'll be getting proper filtration of my water at home but this is a real nice backup as well I think.
The steam is good. Perhaps a tad bit slower then on my old Izzo Alex Duetto mk2 but for me it's easier to get microfoam this way. You also get two steam tips. One with smaller holes for slower steaming which I actually prefer.
You don't get a single spout portafilter though. Not something I care about though but worth mentioning. You do get a naked portafilter.
Also I think the machine is a bargain for what you get. Flow profiling for 1850 punds? Thats a steal!
If you want a more "modern" machine though with programmable profiles maybe this isn't for you. For me I appreciate that I can adjust the flow in real time. If it's a little to fast a adjust the flow accordingly for example.
Thats my 5 cents! Good huntin' !
I find myself in an identical (Sort of) situation. My Alex Duetto II was just serviced and is in excellent condition after a PID replacement and all the rubber changed. But I find myself wanting more. Upgrade-itus? But I'd like to mess with pressure profiling, and must admit I'm a geek at heart and like the idea of a touch screen. It's 2019 afterall and touchscreens are robust.
This is for personal home use, not plumbed (yet), 4-5 shots a day, plus 2x that many weekends. I just upgraded to a Ceado E37S grinder....
So I'm looking at:
1- lelit Bianca - at low cost, offers manual profiling, a pre infusion " preset" which I'd probably not use,and should allow me to create the following profiles easily enough, but perhaps not digitally repeatable... nice portafilter....
2- Andreja Premium Profiles by Quick Mill - programmable, a bit more expensive, and no manual paddles
3- Vesuvius —- yet more expensive but mostly all stainless internals - again no paddle for manual operation
4- Rocket R Nine One - an overall dream? Best of both worlds, but $$$$
Important to me are:
1- ability to use a smart timer on good surge suppressor .. aka, a latching mains power switch
2- easily drainable tanks in case a rescaling is needed ( I use good filtered water, but life happens...)
3- a quiet operating pump
4- overall machine quality and longevity
6-good milk steaming, but generally ny a coupe milk drinks a week and smal 12 oz pitchers. I currently love the 4 hole Alex Duetto tip.... fast yet controllable
7- inclusion of great portafilter.. 1, 2, and naked...
8- tall enough cup clearance to pur a cap directly int a normal American mug
9- easy to add water to the reservoir with an easy enough to remove/clean reservoir. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the external tank from a looks perspective, but I guess it keeps the water from heating too much and has the easy to fill element.
10- unique pid settings for each boiler...???
11- probably mutually exclusive to #8, but a good size drip tray
12- ability to possibly plumb in in the future ( need t get ff my a$$ and just finally do this... hassle running ones through a wall then through a tile backsplash)
13- last, but not least, vaue... cost-performance "sweet spot". I'm willing to stretch some to get top of the line, but no need to over do things either. I just want great espresso, a good point appliance, and a machine for the next 15 years!
I feel like I'd probably use the following profiles most, but will definitely experiment and open to the walk of possibilities:
A. 5-20 sec pre-infusion at 2 Bar, 20 seconds run at 9 bar and stop
B. 5-20 sec pre-infusion at 2 Bar, 10-15 seconds run at 9 bar and lower the pressure to 3 or so gradually or via some program steps.
C. Whatever the mad scientist in me fees like!
So, what are everyone's thoughts?