For the amount of espresso made in this household I'm not ready to plunk down two grand for a rotary pump HX or DB machine, and the Silvia can make decent shots from time to time. It occurs to me that using the Weiss Disribution Technique in a Synesso double basket and tamping with all my might (while blaming the old grinder for the need to do that!) for years was providing a lot of coverage for any deficiencies. The grinder is no longer a source of inconsistency, and tamping the fine, fluffy, fresh coffee at 30-35 lbs should at least get me close to a nice, long pull. Rather, I'm getting channeling and micro-jets, and it pours at close to gusher rates.
I am now wondering what the GH pressure is during a brew. Another couple hundred for a pressure gauge and (while I'm in there) a PID should at least eliminate the equipment as sources of problems and inconsistency, and leave the operator as the main variable in the system.