Ok, thought I'd post this for a bit of pondering by us shopping in this price range.

My first question is, have you/ do you/ are you measuring the actual brew temps coming through your portafilters?

I guess this price-range is a lot of us who are after a very good quality shot, time after time and are probably able to taste the differences in the cup from various changes in temp, pour times, freshness of beans/ grind, milk temps, etc

There's usually a want for your machine to be "up to temp" as fast as possible.
My old 6910 was only a bit over a minute before all the lights were green and the machine was happy to make a cup. But in no way was the group, PF and piping up to temp without purging quite a lot of hot water through it.
I moved onto the Dual Boiler Lelit PL60, (now called Diana..) which it's sales pitch now states "Ready in 3 Minutes", yes "ready" in the fact the boiler temp has reached the preset temp (I use 93' as that's what my beans are designed to be brewed at) and you have full steam power available.

but in reality, if you pull a shot at that time, the temps I've measured through the puck is down a further 10 degrees or more, and drops considerably over the time the shot is pouring.
Flushing with hot water to heat the entire Group does help a bit, but simply nowhere near the benefit of having the machine on for 20-30 minutes.

My other wonder is how do the Shiny Italians stack up against the Breville-Beams as far as Real World temp stability, recycle times and heat-up time.