pete10uk Welcome to the forum!
Bianca is a great choice. If you want almost a similar feature, add a paddle plus a little more noise, then Minima.
A neat and a compact machine will be Liz.
@Paolo_Cortese from ACS was doing a deal on Vesuvius, for £100 more than Bianca. You may email him (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask if the deal is still available . If it is, it’s a no brainer choice than any other machines, IMO, for many of us; the Vesuvius may not suit everyone.
If want a lever, there is only one I would suggest; this will be the Vesuvius Evo Leva, which is the machine some of us purchased when it was in the Alpha stage. I think we paid something around £2500; the price may have already gone up for a variety of reasons.
Of course, you may look at Profitec, ECM, ….
You want an end-game machine, how much do you want to spend? How many coffees do you want to make? How many of them are milk-based coffees? What’s not working — apart from consistency — with the number of cups and steaming ?
In summary, off Liz, Minima, Bianca and Vesuvius, the Vesuvius or Bianca will be the choice; between these two, if the price difference is just marginal, defo the Vesuvius. If Lever, the Evo.
Niche is very good in the price range; I won’t buy the Solo or Oro — although they are flat and the Solo is cheaper. The Niche is a far better grinder, unless you want to err on the 83mm burr size.
So, plenty of choices to think about . In the end, you need to decide what you want and how much you want to pay. What ever you, please ensure you do not suffer from buyers’ remorse. Buy once, buy well and keep it well.
Let’s know ! 😊