I have Regal and find it to be very nicely placed. It makes a good
textured square loaf. And has been a very good beginnner bread maker for
me. I agree with the other poster, that the Zorijshu (sp?) is the cream of
the crop, but I wonder how intimidating it is to a beginner bread maker?
My regal looks a lot like the Mr. Loaf machines, I think it is made by
Trillium for regal (or at least they both share the same manufacturer).
One thing I like, that is always over looked is the top. Mine comes
off by taking out two screws, which is a bit of a pain, but still very
easy. This makes it simple to clean. And with the first over risen loaf you
have you will realize how nice it is to take off the lid and clean it in
My in-laws have one of the original Hitachi units (not the plus)
and have had problems with it making a consitant loaf. Of course I don't
know whether it is the machine, or the operator...
Also I would only buy a 1.5 lb machine. They are not much more and
all the ones I have seen still make a 1 lb loaf. Plus there are a lot of
"instant" mixes coming out. Where all you do is add the packet, yeast, and
water and you get: sourdough, wheat, herb, etc... These packages are all
being centered around the 1.5 lb machines. They do come with instructions
for smaller bread makers, but then why hassle with that?
I think you also need a timer option, and I don't think there is a
machine out there that does not have one, but make sure. It is great to
wake up to the smell of baking bread.