I upgraded from an EM3600 to a Silvia and the coffee is *far* and away superior. It does take a bit longer to use though. It also took a few weeks to get used to the grind setting and dosing, but it's pretty consistent now (doesn't need adjusting too often). It is not foolproof though, with practice you get more and more reliable at using it, and in this sense it is a rewarding machine, but it is easier to pull a bad shot.
The PID makes a big difference, I bought mine from another CS member who already had a PID so I've never used it without one. Time-wise, a lot of the slow down is the result of changing from espresso to milk steaming temperature and back.
Ideally it should be left on for say, 15 minutes at espresso temperature. But if all you wanted was two espressos from a cold machine ASAP with no PID, one option is to turn the machine on, make sure the boiler is full, and turn the steam switch on. Wait until the unit is at max temperature, and then purge it through the group handle into your cups. I think this would be only about 5 mins after turning it on. Then grind, dose, and the machine should be at the peak of its thermal cycle for making espresso. 30 second shot and you're done. It biggest slowdown is if you want to make say, 4 milk coffees. But this is the case for any machine that isn't a dual boiler or HX.