I have come to appreciate the finer details of preparing and puling great shots. I enjoy having one bigger boiler, but not the complications of an HX E61. Even though there is still a pump, the pull does not depend on the pump, which really makes a difference in the whole feel of the operation. The flavor of the shots is definitely refined, and I very much enjoy the aesthetic of pulling the lever. As mine is an L1.2 and not an LR (I bought mine a month before the LR was announced), I have learned to use the Fellini technique when needed, and it works just fine.
As for the entire set-up, I have become better with the R1 and L1, but feel that the E8 is really over-kill for my use. The 83mm red speed lucidite burrs are fast, the E8 is beautiful, and the three-setting control panel is gorgeous, but do I need this? Well, it ended up being ridiculously cheap, the way I bought it, so I'll just enjoy it.