How's the mokita? Similar to the silvia?
I started with a Silvia and a borrowed Gino Rossi RR45 grinder. The Silvia was ok and I installed a PID for temp stability (and for fun).
I do quite few milk-based drinks so decided to get a used HX machine off ebay. The Silvia was just taking me too long to do the 4 coffees I make each morning.
Found a nice Rancilio S24 (badged as a Promac Club PU/S). As new for $700. Sweet machine.
Then I picked up a Mazzer Mini for $500 off ebay. Again, as new polished aluminum version.
Use a Coffeelab tamper. Same knockout bin as you have. Got pictures but haven't posted online. My Silvia and Mazzer pics are here (including PID installation):
My mate had a Sunbeam EM grinder. It's ok for the price you pay but like you said, it's inconsistent. Seems like no two EM grinder grind the same at similar settings.
If you're getting serious (seems like you are), then get a better grinder. THe Mazzer Mini is a solid grinder. I do like it. It's built like a tank BUT the grind tends to be a little bit clumpy. BUt this can be solved with some mods.
My mate tried the Compak K3T. Not bad but it's a pain to adjust dosage. You can get a used Compak K6 or Mazzer Super Jolly on ebay for the price of a new Mazzer Mini.
I hear that the ECM Best or KS is decent. Sub $500. Check www.coffeesnobs.com.au
(Hardware for Sale forums) for deals.
I was at the op shop today and saw a Rancilio Audrey. It's the pre-Silvia Silvia. Same group head etc. Butt ugly facia though. I was going to buy it for fun but it hadn't been checked by a sparky yet. I left my number and they'll ring me when it's for sale.