Hi Crema lad,
There are a few things that you can do:
1. Get some training to learn how to use your machine and a good grinder correctly. If your machine still uses pressurised baskets- many holes on top, only 1-2 small holes on the base of the basket- get rid of them too for some depressurised baskets.
2. Turf the grinder and purchase a real one
3. Use fresh beans
If you do decide on a new machine, your present budget will not let you get towards the machines that you want, so:
Machines: look at VBM Domobar piccolo, Diadema Perfetta or perhaps a souped up Expobar Office SA
Grinder: Bare minimum Rancilio Rocky. Better still, at least a Compak K3T...
Most important is the training required to learn how to get the best out of them. Its clear that *$ havent helped you at all ::)
You might keep an eye on this thread: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1253783918 where the buyer has similar requirements to yours...
I happy to assist if I can...