I think your routine is pretty good. The only thing I did different on my EM was let it warm up for longer (about 30 minutes). The only problems I had with mine were the group handle coming off under pressure (you really need to hang on to it while you pull your shot!) and getting the grind right. The steps on the 0480 never seems to match what I wanted and I was always on the brink of choking it.
However, I agree that when you refine your technique, you are getting better coffee than some cafes.