You bet they are! I was once given a rocket for my choice in grinder on this forum and my research to date suggests that the grinder is the first thing which should be considered when setting up for the first time. I have just replaced my Sunbeam EM480 with a Mini Mazzer E. What a difference (not just in price)! Still getting to grips with the timing of the grind, however the difference in taste is amazing. Minimal clumping and no where near as much mess.
Yes it is a huge difference in price, however IMHO I believe it is worth the cost.
My second crack worth.