Thanks for the introduction. Your enthusiasm for all this sounds great. I too live in SF, though right now I am stuck in Michigan for an extended holiday after the holidays. Snow angels to pass the time away.
This is yet another post in support of the Le'lit PL53. I received one a few weeks ago (thanks again to Stefano's), and so far am very impressed with the quality of the grinds and adjustment. My initial impressions:
-grind quality is great. It's making some yummy shots on my PID Silvia.
-very fine resolution of the stepless adjustment. It is finer than on my Macap MC4. Great shot tweaking ability!
-fluffiest grounds I've ever seen. Much fluffier than my Macap. I get almost no clumping on the Le'lit.
-Can only activate the grind by pressing the button behind the spout with your portafilter, or some other object, and it takes a little bit of constant pressure. I'd rather have a simple on/off switch on the side of the grinder.
-The spout does retain a fair amount of grounds, and I don't like being in a wrestling match banging the grinder around to get the grounds to drop. My Macap also retains grounds in the spout, but because of the angle and size of the spout, it is super easy to get all the grounds out with a chopstick. It really is not possible to do this with the Le'lit, so I will most likely modify the spout.
-High pitched loud motor. At night when my roomies (6 of them!) are all home, I am a bit hesitant to use this grinder but during the day, it seems fine.
What about watching e-bay for a used Mazzer Super Jolly? Or I would even say check out the ones comparable to my Macap. I love the Le'lit, but still prefer the Macap based on quietness, solid build, ease of getting all the grounds out with a chopstick, and so far I am still getting my best shots with this (I still need much more time with the Le'lit though
If you can wait til Jan. 12th when I get back to SF, you'd be more than welcome to come hang in the Mission and play around with a PID Silvia with pressure gauge, PID Alexia, Macap MC4, and Le'lit PL53. Have you tried shots at Blue Bottle yet? What about 4 Barrel? 4 Barrel is a block from me in the Mission. Awesome.