One thing that our family is fond of is bread - especially whole wheat bread. I read Pat's review of the Family Grain Mill from the perspective of someone who's been-there done-that. Our grain mill journey began with an attachment to the Champion Juicer - it does grind wheat but the flour is fairly coarse and the resulting bread is not what I had come to expect from the bread that typical (store bought) whole wheat flour yielded.
We wanted a mill that offered the user the ability to grind flour by hand if needed. After a long search we opted for the economically attractive Family Grain Mill. It was a marked improvement as far as the consistency of the flour on its finest setting, but still fell short of the store bought flour. Additionally, our Kitchen-Aid mixer was at the minimum power requirement and although it was able to grind wheat, the mixer did warm up considerably. Grinding by hand is certainly do-able, but it will be a family task to grind enough (fine) flour for a couple of standard sized loaves. Most of the Family Grain Mill is plastic, everything fits well and the burrs are well-machined, but again, most of the mill is plastic - I don't know if this mill will make it through generations. However, one real positive feature of this mill is its ability to make rolled oats (with an optional attachment) - no comparison to store bought rolled oats.
We definitely wanted a mill that could stand up to our family's needs for many years - our search continued. Our search thus far had yielded adequate mills, each better than its predecessor, but still had us making flour that was substandard to store bought. We found two that looked promising and neither was inexpensive. The GrainMaker mill and the Country Living Grain Mill were the two that rose to the top - either, when reviewed, had accolades and some issues.
We opted for the GrainMaker and have not regretted it for a moment. The flour is just as fine as that in the store. We have motorized it - deciding to use our time more productively until the power fails. We have made everything from cornmeal to grits, cracked wheat beans, - whatever - easily.
Here are several reviews that helped push us over the edge to spend more than we ever thought we would. (However when we compare what we spent leading up to the GrainMaker purchase, we would have been far better off saving our money to get this workhorse first.)
http://www.grainmaker.com/independent-reviews.html - the grain mill comparison - this document is a very good reference for someone considering a high-end mill.
Also, I'm on a personal quest to make an excellent loaf of bread from only what we have stored for whatever comes. No yeast (sour dough starter instead) and no white flour. An appeal to your readers for a proven recipe would be very, very much appreciated.
As always - thank you for all that you do! - John T.