Hey Bill- a number of people I know own the expobar and all report good experiences!
On price point, a competitor might be the Simonelli Oscar- but with a plastic body. The expobars are known to run a little warm and sometimes ship with fairly high pump pressures- both easily tweakable.
Differences between the Semi and the Auto are limited to the Volumetric touchpad in the Auto and obviously a few dollars. I believe that they are unmatched when it comes to "bang for buck"
Keep in mind the need to factor in a good grinder- at least an Iberital Challenge.
I can supply you with both....Perhaps you might drop me a PM and we can talk some more...