This may not be terribly helpful in the scheme of things but I am afraid is entirely dependent upon you and what you as an individual are happy with or you as an individual expect..
What you have heard about with regard to saeco machines does not apply to the VV. It is one of the best domestics around and frankly, I think its the best machine saeco produces....but you have to be happy with the pressurised filter handle and the type of brewed coffee it results in. Some folk are ok with it, and some arent. Otherwise....this is an excellent starter machine that potentially will be with you for a good 15 years or so with excellent standard of build, good (internal) domestic boiler machine design, *& spare parts availability.
The 166 grinder is a very good starter grinder.
So depending on your own individual likes & expectations the above could be just fine & excellent value.
Miss Silvia is also just fine but requires a lot more understanding to use to obtain a satisfactory brew. So in effect it is "harder" to get a good result than the the above mentoned VV because it is less forgiving of the operators level of understanding.
HOWEVER, the Silvia when used properly will give you a commercial quality espresso but the VV wont. VV produces a different kind of brew because of the pressurised group handle and generally speaking, the VV espresso is less well extracted & is more "mellow" than a robust & well extracted commercial quality espresso as brewed by the Silvia.
How difficult is it to use these machines? *
It is easier to use the VV than it is to use the Silvia, effectively because of the pressurised filter handle..otherwise they are very similar.
How long do you have to wait for the water to boil? *
The silvia has a larger boiler capacity so the intial start up time from dead cold takes longer but once they have both been on for a while (you can leave them on all day if you wish ...but not while you are not at home or sleeping please...so that you can come get coffee at any time on demand). Effectively then, they give you coffee on demand at any particular time. * *
How long does it take to make one cup of espresso? *
Depends on the individual and how much care you take. Othwerwise, it will take you LESS time than to boil the jug to make a cup of instant.
What do you think of the fully automatic machines? *Do they produce worse coffee?
They make coffee very much like the VV as described above.
But seriously, people are always being led to just a select few model machines when they "read" on the net....effectively choking sales of many perfectly good items. Nothing wrong with the machines you picked above but there are also other good machines around to suit any number of individuals. My personal preference is to stay away from aluminium thermoblck & aluminium boiler machines, which leaves all and sundry brass & stainless steel boiler machines..........
Over to you! *;)