I resisted the temptation for so long, but yesterday I was offered a deal too good to refuse. So I now have a commercial HX machine (Bezzerra BZ 35e). Its volumetric dosing model with a vibe pump, so it doesnt need to be plumbed. It can easily be converted to run a rotary pump for future plumbing, but thats really not an issue for the moment.
She is second hand, but in very good condition and bought through Barazi (site sponsor) for a great price ($800). I just gave her a trial run around the block today. That included brewing only one shot. I was really worried that this machine wouldnt perform any better than my Gaggia Classic. Right now I am very excited. Not only is the steaming unbelievable, frothing enough milk for a single in less than 10 seconds flat (hardly time to blink), it produced a shot that was significantly different from what I expect from my Classic. It wasnt bitter, but also lacked the sourness I was getting from my Classic. Its early days, but Im excited about the possibilities.