I'm at this stage in my life now too. I read up on this machine. Do I really need a PID and a temperature meter and a scale to make anything close to a decent espresso? I only have a manual burr grinder so far for my moka pot, and it works fine for that (rhinowares, the tall grinder). It's not stepless though.
All these coffee nazis out there are making me anxious. My Melitta caffeo solo died, and I don't want another one. It was pretty good but after a couple of years the coffee residue gets everywhere in the machine, and it gets hard to clean properly. I love the crema though, which is why i want to move up from moka pot again -even tho it's pretty decent- after only a month or two lol.