Yeah - I remember using a cafe roma years ago and, well, it wasnt an impressive machine.
If you are after strong coffee, as in seriously strong coffee, I suspect that youll have difficulty finding an inexpensive machine with a portafilter than can handle huge baskets.
Your best bet is probably to do two shots.
Having said that, I too like strong coffee (hate a cap where you can actually taste the milk over the coffee) and have recently purchased an 800ES (see thread http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1218887224) which produces excellent strength coffee even with the factory pressurised basket.
If you upgrade to the non-pressurised basket, its even better!
The 800ES is a very impressive machine for the price.