I went through similar a similar experience and deliberation, but only had my PID Silvia and Macap M4 stepless for 30 days. The PID avoided the temperature surfing that frustates many new Silvia owners, and I began with a better grinder than the usual Rocky. So, I started with a considerable leg up and was able to get decent pours early on. I built a PF pressure gauge and lowered the brew pressure a little, and was about to install one of Eric's thermocouple adapters to get the real scoop on the group head temperature profile. I was having lots of fun with the science, learning about espresso and forming a relationship with Silvia. I was just beginning to pull some pretty good shots. My microfoam production was more erratic, but I was on the way to understanding the termperature profile of the steam boiler, too.jsdp wrote:Although I have happily used a Rancilio Silvia and Rocky for over 2 years, visiting this forum daily didn't help prevent catching upgraditis. I had narrowed down my choice to either an Izzo Alex Duetto II or a La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II. Even though both of these machines are great, I couldn't help but think that even if I bought either one, I would still want to purchase a La Marzocco GS/3 (my dream machine) in the future. Once I heard about the current limited price offer on GS/3's, I decided I couldn't pass it up and pulled the trigger. I am glad I did and I don't foresee a need to ever upgrade my espresso machine again. I have owned it for a few weeks and I am still pinching myself.... .
It turned out I was making more milk drinks than I anticipated (daily straight shots and daily milk drinks instead of just straight shots and an occaisional milk drink.) Even with the PID, I foresaw a little more time for the morning brew ritual than I wanted. So, I was actively investigating the upgrade possibilities by the end of the first month. After reading reams about espresso machines on HB and CG, and getting a sense of the limitations and idiosyncracies of the offerings, and after learning that I had more interest in the coffee than wresting with machines, I knew there was a strong possibility that if I upgraded it wouldn't stop until I got a first-rate DB. I had been wowed by the design, performance and build quality of the GS/3, so when it went on deep sale, I figured there may never be another opportunity to get one at a great price, and it would be cheaper to pull the trigger now rather than buying and selling a bunch of intermediate machines over a period of years. After a little over a week with the GS/3, I'm glad I skipped everything in between (but, of course, I'm not quite out of the upgraditis vortex because there's that little matter of the grinder ). By no means is the GS/3 a solution for everyone, or even a few, but it was the right one for me.