There's a great bit on the Campaign for Real Bread website here about bread machines and why they can be a good idea.
I'm not going to give up completely on making handmade bread, and will still do so when I get the time and the urge and the inclination, but at least with my bread machine, in between those times I don't have to rely on supermarket bread.
We baked our first loaf in it yesterday and this was the result:
It was yummy:
The breadmaker I have is the Panasonic SD257. It has a brioche programme, a gluten-free programme, a raisin and nut dispenser and a bake-only and dough-only feature. So, it seems very flexible in what you can do with it and I look forward to trying out all the different features in the years to come!