With regard to tightening the portafilter, this model may require a bit of force within the first month of use to get everything attached properly. After this period of time, the group gasket will start to soften up and allow the process to occur more easily. Initially, you'll also find that the handle will actuallly seat largely to the left of center when the machine is new (I'm not entirely sure why the manual is suggesting a proper seated position so far to the right, as that would be indicative of a worn gasket on this model). If you want to rule out coffee as a factor, attach the filter and tighten it to the expected position with an empty filter basket installed. If it can move further along than when it was loaded with coffee, too much is being used.