I like two different ice cream makers: White Mountain 6 Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker F69206X and Cuisinart ICE-50BC Supreme Commercial Quality Ice Cream Maker.
The White Mountain 6 Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker F69206X is an old fashioned ice cream maker. It uses ice and salt and has an actual wood bucket. It replaces the hand crank with a 12,000 rpm commercial grade electric motor. It makes 1.5 gallons of ice cream at a time. That makes it ideal for parties and events. It is also the less expensive of the two. Since it uses ice and salt, it does take more effort and planning than the Cuisinart but it is fun for kids. You get all the entertainment value of an old fashioned ice cream maker without having to endlessly crank it because you know that you are the one who would end up having to crank it.
The Cuisinart ICE-50BC Supreme Commercial Quality Ice Cream Maker is an ice cream machine like you see in restaurants and on cooking shows. You pour in the mix and it churns away until the ice cream comes out. The ease of use is offset by its capacity. The Cuisinart makes 1.5 quarts compared to the White Mountain's 1.5 gallons. I don't consider that much of a failing since that's still more than a family of 4 is likely to eat in one sitting.