Let me start by admitting that I like making espresso the old fashioned way. I prefer to grind my own beans and tamp my own grinds. I also prefer a regular espresso, maybe occasionally a ristretto, when I am ordering at a coffee bar. Pods and capsules are of no interest to me, as I will not be able to control the strength of my coffee by varying the amount of coffee grinds used, nor will I be able to select my own beans. Once in a while, I may choose to foam milk, but that is about once a week. The llly machines are gorgeous, and I would love to hear that they make great coffee. However, I don't want to be seduced by their looks.
I have been eyeballing machines for a while. There is no need for me to spend more than $1000, as I am the only one in the house who drinks any kind of coffee. I live in Texas, and after dinner coffee seems to be unpopular. I'll blame the heat. Therefore, it would be rare for me to need to make four cups at once.
There are many conflicting reviews out there. I thought I would start by asking Illy users about their experiences with their machines. If you don't have an Illy, but like to brew your own ground espresso and have a great machine to recommend, please feel free to recommend one. Thank you.