I just bought a Mazzer Mini and a Nuova Simonelli Oscar and expect both to arrive to my door by Weds of next week. I can let you know how it goes. I am so excited to actually own something in my home better than Krups after working in a shop and having been spolied by commercial espresso!
I believe the Macap M5 can give the Mazzer Mini a good go around but I have not personally tried one and the price of that grinder is even more steep.
Depends on how much you drink? Get a Mazzer if your going to be serving a lot. If it is just for home use and all you make is a pot a day, check out a Solis grinder or a Capresso Infinity. They are both good burr grinders and will stand up to small beating.
If anyone is interested in picking up a Mazzer I may be able to help. My company remans equipment for major chains...domino's, starbucks, etc. I have some Mazzer grinders available. They have a few paint chips but work well and have a money back guarantee.
If anyone know's some place I can unload these it would be greatly appreciated.
Try not storing a weeks worth of beans in the hopper. Only scoop what you will grind and use within a few minutes into the hopper. If you are a dark roast fan the oils on the beans will go rancid after just a few days if not kept away from oxygen and light. If you are entertaining and will brew a few pots go ahead and fill the hopper.
As far as the best all around grinder I HIGHLY recomend the Solis Maestro Plus conical burr grinder. It has a small footprint is heavy enough to not move around on the counter, and it has 40 grindsettings.
Depending on how much counter space you have you might consider a professional grinder. I own the La Pavoini Zip. I only grind when I ready to use the bean. I have two settings that I use, one for my espresso maker, and one for the french press. I'm mostly using the french press so the Pavoini does a fabulous job...especially when I'm making several pots of french press at a party. When I researched grinders I had a lot of people say that the commercial La Pavoni was the real deal...they also recommended the Zassenhaus Coffee Mills...these are hand grinders. I bought the Zassenhaus Knee grinder for camping. It's an amazing creation, although a little pricy! The Maestro Plus was another grinder that was recommended. I also frequent Ebay and check out deals for friends....I'm watching an auction right now for a cute red La Pavoni that is currently listed at $99! Although I already own the La Pavoni grinder,it is tempting to get the one in red.... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 997wt_1167
The bottom line is how much can you afford and what kind of counter space do you have.
It all depends on your budget. If you're looking for something really affordable in the $100 range, a Bodum Antigua isn't a bad bet. More in the $250-350 range a Rancilio Rocky or one of their smaller models would be great, IMO.