Welcome to CoffeeSnobs Noni.
Newbies are always welcome and its nice to see someone having a read before posting
Both the machine and grinder get a pretty good response here from the members so you should be fine on that front and yes, getting a good grinder is a great start!
Modifying baskets is pretty straight forward and if you got stuck Im sure there is a CoffeeSnob member local to you who could lend a hand. Have a look though the threads at the method which can be as simple as a few extra drill holes in the underside of the basket.
Skim decaf? Certainly not my drink of choice but as long as you like it...
Any espresso machine will boil milk given long enough and it is a fine line between really hot and burnt... you will be the best judge of that.Originally Posted by 46474641280 link=1255320702/0#0 date=1255320702
You might find that pouring an espresso shot, adding boiling water from the kettle and then just adding a splash of skim milk will make a suitable hot coffee.
Yeah, as long as you clean as you go its easy. If you leave steamed milk on the wand for a couple of minutes it will bake-on and be a bugger to get off but a quick wipe as you use it will make it painless.Originally Posted by 46474641280 link=1255320702/0#0 date=1255320702
Add to your gear fresh coffee (or roast your own) and you will be well on your way to a new coffee discovery.
Enjoy the journey!