this was my second machine on my coffeesnobs journey and it is definitely capable of producing some very good espresso :)
1) in terms of fast, runny pour there are many reasons this could be happening - grind being too coarse, stale coffee etc. do yourself a favour though and get a single wall filter set because that is not helping at all!
2) a good grinder is very very important. get the best one you can for your budget! in terms of lowest price and decent quality em450/480 is a good starting place. breville smart grinder is next step up
3) turn up the steam pump rate and temperature to max. instantly gave me better results with my milk!
have fun :)