Sorry if this is something that has been beat to death but a search really didnt give me a good discussion/argument over what is best... I've always thought hand laying track would be the best way to start my new layout, especially since you can put switches and such exactly like you want. I have a local hobby shop that carries nothing as far as any fine scale materials so yesterday while visiting a town near me I dropped into the hobby shop there in search of a few rails and some ties to try hand laying my own track. The guy there almost laughed at me stating that 'no one lays their own track since the ME, Walthers, Peco, etc flex track is so nice and realistic'. I left discouraged and pondering just what I should do. So, out goes the question, what is considered the best way to go. Oh yeah, HO and possibly some HOn3.