My mom made her bread and rolls by hand. She was thrilled to receive a Braun mixer equipped with a dough hook, thus saving her time and energy! I started out with a Sunbeam mixer as a wedding gift. Fifteen years ago, I got a classic Kitchen Aid for my birthday from my wonderful boys. A few years later, my husband found a bread machine at a yard sale for $25.
So, which method would I recommend? It depends on how much time you have. With our busy schedules, I doubt many have time to make bread by hand; however, it is good to learn how, as you never know if there will come a time when we will have to go back to the basics! A bread machine works well for busy working moms and the newer ones make larger loaves than the one I had. You also have the convenience of waking up to a hot loaf of bread. So, if you have two hours of unscheduled time, my best advice is to use an electric mixer that comes with a dough hook.