<Snip> If you already have a decent grinder you can get into making decent espresso for about $200 with a Gaggia. When I got Silvia I started with a Maestro (not plus) and the Maestro actually did ok, for a few months 'til the burrs were shot, which led to a Rocky which a few years later led to adding a Mazzer SJ (primarily 'cuz of those dang ultimate coffee experience ristrettos, man does that Panama Gesha make a killer ristretto:-). Of course, the trouble is you might find you really like espresso extraction coffees and it can indeed be a steep slippery slope! OTH I virtually never spend $ on coffee of any kind "out there". For instance Saturday afternoon Debi & spent the afternoon playing at Bridgeport Village. (A boutique shopping village.) Popped into Pete's and almost ordered a ristretto just to see how they do. I first asked the "barista" behind the 3 group La Marzocco if they pulled ristrettos. "Yes". I asked do you grind finer and pull the shot longer? "No, we just stop the shot sooner but I could try". I told her since they were busy I wouldn't make her take the time. When in reality she as much said she didn't know and hadn't practiced how to make a double shot 30-35sec 1oz ristretto so I waited 'til we got home. So I saved some money! <Snip> There is always deeper with coffee! <Snip> Definitely renegades:-) Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.