Randy G. wrote:I also notice that the big conical delivers a wider usable range of adjustment while still delivering good espresso while the Rocky was good for two different "click" stops at the most.
This is true of all stepless grinders, conical and flat. Stepped burrs rarely have the adjustment necessary. I even find that my vario lacks enough adjustment at times. On the other end of this are worm drive adjustments, which I think are cumbersome because they adjust so minutely.
OP: conicals separate flavor better, and provide a better distribution of particles, which makes a better puck. Taste differences really depend on your coffee IME. While a quality grinder won't ever make a good coffee taste bad on its own (distribution and technique are at fault), some flavors play to the strengths of a burr type. Conicals separate flavors more, so complex fruits, or exciting coffees from Africa and the pacific islands, will naturally taste more complex when run through a conical. Most see this as a plus. Flat burrs do tend to push the low end, so South and Central Americans will shine. While you can make a very compelling case that a conical is the best, in truth best is a matter of opinion, and heavily dependant on your taste preferences. A competent barista can make excellent drinks with a Baratza Vario, but will find it simpler to do with a large conical or even a larger flat. I'm not entirely sure what you're looking for with your original question, but it sounds like you're looking for verification that you need a conical grinder. Some here will agree with that, but I do not. I think for most people, a Mazzer Major is more than enough, a Super Jolly is standard equipment, and if you'd like a huge conical, have at it.