Small traces and double sided boards are a peice of cake once you've made a few boards. It's certainly an acquired skill, but only took me a few tries to get it down. Most of my boards have traces as thin as 0.2mm. My setup includes a 15W UV fish tank light, a toaster oven, a glass cooking dish, dry draino (mix with water), ferric chloride (mix with water), I print the boards onto 3M transparency sheets with a 600DPI laser jet printer (also found at any/ALL printing shops), for double sided boards I always make alignment circles. Then I use scotch tape to hold the negatives to pre-photosensitized PCB. You can sensitize any PCB yourself but I don't mind paying the extra few dollars per 9x9" to skip doing that. I can typically make a 3x3" board in under 15 minutes (excluding cad time) for around $2. It's ideal for high-speed prototyping or applications where the board design may change. My etching setup cost me about $50. (thrift stores are your friend)
You also need a nice drill bit set, which I've found for $5 with bits from 0.2mm diameter up to 3mm. I use a table-top drill and dremel tool for sanding and contouring. This process depends on the geometry of the board, but I've made many boards with complex shapes and it never takes me more than 20 minutes to drill, cut, sand, and tin my boards.
The downside to this process is that there are things I cannot do, such as silk screen. I could easily mask but I hand-solder all of my SMD components so it's not necessary for me. If you do go this route, make sure you play around with a few junker boards until you get it right. When etching, use heat and friction to aid the etchant. This can make the difference between a 45 minute crappy etch job and a 10 minute beauty.