The Hitachi HB-B101 bread machine is as much a staple in my kitchen as, well, bread! It's very easy to use and easy to clean -- a definite plus in our home. It has a single paddle and a tall bread pan. It's a very basic machine. The only thing I don't much care for about it is that it doesn't have a raisin beep, so the one time I tried making chocolate chip bread, I had to guesstimate when to put the chips in. I guessed wrong and ended up with chocolate bread! I like that the paddle doesn't come out in the bread, which is one less thing for me to fuss with. I started using the bread machine as a lark, and quickly realized that I liked the bread coming out of the bread machine more than I liked the bread at the store. Yes, it's a bit more effort, but the results are worth it. This bread machine is a real workhorse in our kitchen. It doesn't heat up the kitchen the way the oven would! I don't really use it for much more than making bread, but it gives me the flexibility to be able to experiment with different recipes and techniques, which I wouldn't if I had to hand-knead every single experiment! I would also suggest the use of a kitchen scale for measuring out the flour, which would save time and labor in spooning out and leveling off several cups of flour. One last thing -- I've found very few reviews for this particular make and model online, but the few I did manage to find warned about making sure the bread pan was securely in place or you'll get a warning beep. Just something to keep in mind.