Id never had an espresso that tasted good before Chris from Talk coffee made me one (or three *:D) the day I bought my Mazzer.
Prior to that Id only tried a couple and thought they were bloody awful.
But the difference was like night and day between those and the ones Chris made.
Anyway the long story short of it is Ive started to develop a taste for em and recently began having a double shot, and a latte (also double) for breakfast each morning.
I know exactly what you mean about getting everything just right to try and achieve god shots. Its so much more important for straight espresso than it is for milk drinks..although milk drinks benefit from god shots as well *:)