I think the issue with "manual" espresso machines is the inconsistency if you're not putting a lot of work into it. Also there is a lot of coffee waste. An issue in some places is getting beans that are roasted and blended to produce a good result, then once you do that coffee going stale is an issue. IMO, they are a pain in the ass in the home, too many strikes against them.
I'm always terrified at what I end up tipping after getting wasted at a bar. Is it enough? Did I do the math on the bill correctly? Could they even read it? Feedback from my local favorite is the drunker I am the better I tip by a lot.
I don't experience the drawbacks you mention here. I still think the Nespresso mouthfeel is excellent, I find that most shots I have in coffee shops aside from them being disgustingly acidic they are very thin. The temperature issue can be solved with pulling a shot with no pod in it warming the internals and the cup before pulling a pod loaded shot.
I would imagine you wouldn't be an immediate target due to your height alone. A coworker of mine is about your height and he oddly was mugged by a small guy in Forte Greene. My coworker ended up punching him in the nose, but the little mugger managed to also punch him in the nose as well breaking it.