Hoyks I dont own a Silvia but have used a 6910 and 6900 at work for the last 18 months.
In the first year of the 6910s life it went through 3 seals and I recently had the collar replaced.
While that was being done the agent noticed and replaced a circuit board that had a burn mark on it (that explained the earlier smell).
The reason I bought what I did was for longevity and long term savings.
My Expobar is still a little fiddly in that it needs a quick flush if left idle for a while but thats a minor inconvenience.
I prefer function over form.
The Silvia may not be as pretty as the 6910 but have you seen the feet on my Expobar?
Although the 6910 can steam and pull shots at the same time, the steam pump/thermoblock arrangement is not in the same ballpark as my machine.
I know the Silvias need to switch between shots and steaming and cant do too many milk based coffees at a time but youll have to wait for a Silvia owner to comment on the steam power.
If you are only doing no more than 4 at a time I think youll get an argument.
The last seal I got for the 6910 I had to pay for (I must be losing my touch).
It and a spacer cost me $25 from the local Sunbeam agent.
Seals for my Expobar cost less than $5.
Im up to my third tamper for the Sunbeam as the metal bit comes off (its only glued on).
If Id had to pay for it (it was a free replacement for the 6900) Id not be happy.
I have no problem recommending the 6910, providing you are aware of their shortcomings and potential short lifetime. To me theyre a good first machine to learn on.
Barring anything major going wrong, by my observations they should last 5 years at home.
An acceptable overall cost when you add in the free course and excellent customer service (read free parts).
Enjoy it and learn.