I see where you are coming from with this post but dont entirely agree.
With regards to breakdowns, coffee machines have moving parts and withstand high heat. Under these conditions for a prolonged time eventually things are going to wear out. You wouldnt expect to drive a car for years without regular matinenance and changing of filters, tyres, plugs, etc.
I think the equipment our sponsors sell tend to be quite robust. Consider machines like the Lelit or Silvia which should last a minimum of 10 years with regular use & good maintenance.
I own a 12 month old VBM Domobar Junior at home and a 3 year old Nuova Simonelli Oscar at the office. Neither machine has had a problem so far (fingers crossed). The only thing thats required replacement is group seals. Like most CSers I am pedantic about maintaining my equipment and I only use filtered & softened water in my machines.
With regards to modifications I can honestly say that (for me) the VBM Jr is perfect just the way it is and I dont seem much/any room for improvement. Perhaps people more fastidious than I would find things not to like.
For my Oscar I do own 2 different steam tips. One for daily use and occassionally a 4-hole tip for when I have to texture large volumes of milk. I find the 4-hole tip too powerful for small volumes.
There are many similar machines on the market, particularly in the E61 group HX range however there are subtle differences between them. Different people have different needs & preferences which is why we dont all buy the same machine.