We decided to buy an espresso machine and following advice from Internet forums, I also bought a coffee grinder. One of the few things that everyone seems to agree is that having a good grinder is one of the most important things after having quality coffee beans.
As often happens, I read recommendations and reviews for some days or weeks and finally decided which grinder I wanted: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso. It has conical burrs which should be quieter than disk burrs, give good and even distribution of grounds, and reduce frictional heating of the coffee (I have no clue how much this affects the taste). It has 400 step adjustment system for selecting how fine or coarse the grounds are. You can adjust this in many grinders, but often the systems are stepless so that it is not easy to jump back and forth between espresso and drip coffee settings. Preciso was also said to be faster than many other grinders in the same price range.
I was planning to standardize the coffee preparation process by having a grinder with timer for getting always same amount of grounds and also a expresso machine with timer to get always the same amount of water. However, it seems that I won't be using the timer of Preciso for espresso as it is not precise enough. It is easier to just use the pulse button and fill the portafolder manually. I may use the timer for getting grounds for a full pot of drip coffee, though. Baratza/Mahlkonig Varioapparently could have provided the wanted exact amounts of coffee and also three user-configurable presets, but the cost would have been again higher.
Of course Preciso was not available in the local stores, that would have been too easy. This is also story of my life. I look for something specific, finally find that there exists such product in the world, but it is not available anywhere near me. The Preciso is mostly sold in the US, but it is also available in couple stores in the UK and Ireland. I got very prompt response from Kyra in Baratza that I should be contacting Marco to get a grinder with correct electric plug. However, in the end I ordered the grinder from Coffee Angel as their total price was better (even though shipping cost more) and they were helpful and communicated very efficiently. The model I got also had correct kind of plug.
It took some time for the grinder to arrive as the shipping company didn't call on the first time they tried to deliver the packet, because they didn't have my phone number. Then they asked for the number from the sender, but their request never reached the sender. This was sorted out when I called the shipping company and asked for the package status.
I opened the very well packed packet and plugged the grinder in. It didn't start at all. I couldn't make it run in any way. The Baratza website has some troubleshooting tips and I decided to try them even though there was no separate guide for Preciso that at the time. In the process of opening the case a plastic part got broken (the adjustment ring). I checked all the parts inside I could but didn't find any problem. I put the case back on and suddenly the grinder started to work. However, I couldn't get really fine grind needed for espresso, apparently because the adjustment ring was broken. I asked for help from Baratza and Coffee Angel and they were able to provide me with a new adjustment ring as well as instructions for opening the case and changing the ring. I got impression that they did the instructions overnight for me to use. They are now available on Baratza website.
I got the adjustment ring changed but the grind was still to coarse. It seems that there is now a guide also for changing the calibration, but I didn't try this as the original problem of grinder not running came back. It would start for a while and then suddenly stop. Unscrewing the bean hopper so that safety switch clicked and then re-attaching the hopper helped for a little while, but then the grinder would again stop.
This was not good so I asked for a replacement from Coffee Angel. They promised to soon provide me with information on how the change will be done. After a week I asked for the info again and they were suprised to hear that this issue had not been taken care of already. They had asked for European representatives of Baratza at Marco to send the replacement. After another email the grinder got on it's way next day and now I finally have a working machine in the kitchen. It seems that the new piece is also quieter than the previous one and seems to work well. And the coffee luckily tastes good.