Well, I think Ive answered this myself.
Although Ive seen no reference anywhere to an 8-cup Professional model, this seems indeed to be a Professional -- maybe a rare smaller model than standard? And Ive found a Professional instruction manual on a US website.
And although it does cycle up fast, I guess that just means start the espresso cycle just after it goes into the green on the pressure gauge, release steam for a few secs, and then pull when the gauge needle is pointing towards 12-noon.
I guess itll just take practice from this point on .. and experimentation with grind .. I think the grind setting I use for my Atomic is probably a tad too fine and powdery for the Pavoni.