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Hi folks, newbee question...probably asked 100 times before!

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Hi all

I'm new to here but not to coffee or coffee making. I currently use a Delonghi Scultura partnered with a Sage Grinder Pro and OCD-copy leveller bought from Amazon.  I have read enough to know that a lot of the coffee scene is smoke and mirrors and that many machines for home use, at least single boiler machines, are pretty much the same, varying mainly in pressure and temperature control.  OK, you get better or worse groupheads or portafilters but it's all relatively minor stuff as you can still optimise these things on a budget.

I have learned to "surf" my temperature control for the Delonghi and yes, it is possible to get excellent results from it (or at least that became a reality once I started using the Sage grinder which by the way I really rate....just buy one!).  However, it's messy in use and to get acceptable results it's a right faff.   My routine is to fill the water tank right up, switch on and wait for the boiler light to come one whereupon I run a shot through the grouphead and portafilter to warm them up, wait for the light to come back on, and then run another 5 second stream into a cup, also warming the cup up.  I then grind straight into the filter basket and brew a large single shot (8 to 9 gr from Lavazza Espresso beans to a fine grind) and then run a brew until my cup has about 100ml in it, just adding a little milk.  

This is followed by the clean up which entails removing the portafilter, usually containing a soupy mess of saturated grounds (no solenoid on these cheaper models) which needs scooping out with a tea spoon, followed by cleaning up the drip tray and counter.  It's a chore but the coffee genuinely tastes great and way better than I usually get in the usual chain cafe's.

My simple question (please answer honestly!) is this:  Would me spending £475 on a Rancilio V6 or a little less on a 2019 Gaggia Classic be worthwhile in terms of less mess, less fuss and better tasting coffee?  Would it result in a machine which with regular cleaning and descaling, run to say 10 years old no problems?  

The issue I have with most arguments in favour of the Classic is that it's a great machine, stands the test of time etc etc and there's loads second hand at under £150 BUT here's the thing. Most will need new gaskets, seals and a service if more than 5 years old, most (on here anyway) seem to get stripped and modified as soon as they're bought with things like different valves added, PID controls, stainless pipes etc etc so become something of a "Trigger's Broom" with what many regard as necessary modifications.  I think if dropping £475 on something, I would reasonably expect it not to need any modification and to work properly out of the box!  I suspect though this is a throw back to a very old design which manufacturers (including Rancilio) just haven't listened to customers and continue to produce the same basic machine.

That given am I mad to consider spending on the Rancilio as at the moment, I'm leaning towards one just for the better quality on offer?

It's such a minefield out there that I'm unsure where to go if upgrading my current machine, or indeed if I should just stick with it, mess and all?  I have also considered the Sage Duo temp but some report that brew temperature is too low.

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