It may not be the prettiest machine, but i have definitely seen uglier. Other than that, the machine sounds like it has a ton of potential. I was having a conversation with Zak the other day, and we were trying to think of different ways of manipulating the pressure during extraction. This machine seems like it would be ideal for what we were trying to do with a specific espresso that we are working on. I would really love to play with one of these machines, i wonder if it would produce better results than our Synesso. Then again.....Synesso is the shit. :o)
In all seriousness though, in real life, it's gorgeous. But the real beauty is in the cup. Slide the lever over, and watch as the soft infused 'Spro slowly forms in the drip mirror, then slide it all the way over to hit it with full pressure for a few seconds, then ease off and watch the pressure slide slowly back down to 5 bar through the remainder of the shot... And oh waht a shot... SO MUCH FLAVOR, TEXTURE, BODY!!! It's so much fun to try different things. We've been able to take the grind down to near powder, and eeeaaase the water through, the flecking and the body is unreal. Then using a traditional brew method (flat 9 bar) with the same grind, it basically locks the puck solid. From a Barista's perspective, it's opened an entirely new train of thought on how to appproach Espresso. By changing when you move pressures you can literally pull different flavours out of the beans...
Anyhow, pardon the rambling, I'm a tad over-caffeinated and literally vibrating.