Lawman I know that this is an HX machine and comparing it to the Bianca is probably not the best thing to do, however given the fact that the Bianca is £1899, how close does the Mara X get to the Bianca in terms of espresso flavours. And does adding the flow control to the Mara make the comparison a lot closer.
I have a Mara X with a flow control device. I can’t compare it to Bianca flavours because I have never even seen one in person, but I think that for the use profile you describe (which is exactly the same as mine - 2 shots per day, never back to back) - Mara X might be perfect.
Again, as I have not used a Bianca I can only speak from my experience with Mara X + common sense as I see it. My understanding is that the main thing that Bianca has over Mara X (if you add flow control to it) is that it’s a dual boiler vs. Mara’s HX. This will mean better temp stability when making back to back shots (which you don’t do), and stronger steaming power (which you might not need for making single drinks, unless if you make them in buckets). It also gives you the ability to set exact temperatures (vs Mara’s less accurate warm/hot/very hot choice for brewing temp, if this is important for you), and I think it has a shot timer too.
Bianca also has a rotary pump (vs. vibration on Mara X) and can be plumbed in, if this is something you would need. It also has the wooden knobs vs. plastic if you like them (Mara X can be fitted with wooden knobs but all those upgrades add to the cost and if you go for them minimise the cost difference).
Mara X has a smaller footprint, if that makes a difference to you (for me the smaller size is important).
So while I can’t tell you anything about using the Bianca, for what it’s worth I can say that I love my Mara X and don’t suffer FOMO for not having a Bianca.