neither of those machines would be my first preference but if i had to choose one over the other if choose the elektra it has cleaner lines and looks more looks smarter as a machine. i dont know about la cimbali I dont think that they have been at the forefront of innovation for a long while besides to me its an ugly looking machine so i wouldnt choose it on those reasons alone
yes reliability and performance are important, but so is after service care and the availability of spare parts and someone reliable to service your machine
as someone who owned my own cafes for 12 yrs I would also say that, depending upon your location, customers (some , not all) are still going to judge you by the equipment that you have on the bench, and having a bit of added bling can send a message to your customers that yu care about whats going into the grinder and the coffee that you are making.
of course none of this makes any difference if the coffee is not freshly roasted, and the person behind the machine is not highly skilled and equipped with adequate knowledge to make a great cup of coffee
tyhe current 'trend' for overly programmable machines is I think (I hope) a trend that will eventually go away (at least I hope it will) and be replaced by the barista's skill, and not so dependent upon weights and measures - I cant say that more functionality in machines has necessarily lead to better results in the cup - most of the innovation I think has come from bean selection and changes to the way that we roast the coffee
god luck with whatever you decide and make sure to keep us in the loop and yes, photos please!