Im a n00b too and recently bought this combo, about a month ago. Looks like you paid a good price... when I bought it was closer to $379.
I ordered the unpressurised filters from Breville, roast coffee in a popper and now enjoying fairly decent coffee. I find the filter spring to be tight as well and need a teaspoon or knife to pop it out of the handle for cleaning. Hoping it loosens up after more use.
Im also booked in for next weeks session with Sunbeam, having realised the free lessons. Maybe well run into each other there :)