I always have to fall back on the good old stovetop when away from my Silvia. The difference is noticeable, but any port in a storm when it comes to good coffee.
You raise good questions. As with a coffee machine, you have to be careful of the grind and quantity -- but you can adjust to your own taste. Too fine a grind and it will take forever to emerge, or even set off the safety relief valve. The coffee may also be too strong to your liking.
Relatives of mine like it weak and so never fill the basket -- it taste OK, but rather bland without much body that way.
I have never tamped the coffee --- just put in enough to fill the basket and let it come out at a steady rate without choking the stove top.
Put in enough water to barely cover the safety valve.
Hope this helps,