If youre heading up to Sydney, hit up Di Bartoli <---- in Bondi Junction. You can test all the machines mentioned above and more. Thats where I ended up getting my Brewtus/Minore II. Like you, I love playing around with things hence my choice. Its a great machine for me and I dont regret it one bit... The VBM DS was on my list also, behind the Isomac Mondiale. They have these, also the Giotto, Bezzera to give a go too also in that class. I had a similar list to you for those reasons. Instead I had the Mondiale for looks, Expobar for external tweakability, and the VBM in between. Choices, choices. Let us know how you go, and if youve got any questions, just shoot!