Yep they are good, simple to use and nothing like waking up to fresh baked bread in the morning. I would highly recommend the Panasonic SD255, I have had one for over a year now and love it. Plenty of good recipes in the book and loads online to. There is a big thread on this breadmaker here on MSE Forums
We've been using a bread machine for about 6 years. However, we rarely let it bake the bread> We tend to use for making the dough and then we bake it in the oven because the bread can get a bit damp from condensation and the mixing paddle is a PITA. We also use it for Pizza dough, which the kids love, and for making jam in the summer/autumn.
I've had a Morphy Richards Accents breadmaker for almost a year now. In that time I've produced all the family bread apart from two loaves. The key is to keep it out on the work surface, and a supply of flour & yeast in the store cupboards. That way it gets used.
EDIT: Forgot to add. The one I have got the Which? 'best buy' seal of approval.
For me, the benefit of a breadmaker is that I get *real* bread, not mass produced fluffy pap, yet all the hard work and timings are taken care of, so I can get on with other things whilst the machine is doing all the hard work of kneading..
I've got a Morphy Richards Fastbake and it's going strong for heading on three years now. It usually does a loaf overnight to be ready in the morning for work sarmies; you can set mine by 'finishing time' (so you can tell it to be ready in say 8 hours).
Also great to use a dough setting and then finish in the oven.