My planer is my apprentice. I like doing things with hand tools, but thickness planing is really a workout. I can do it, and when the wood is too wide for the planer, depending on the circumstances, I will handle the thicknessing by hand. For the other 99.9% of the stuff – its through my loud, dusty, and well loved lunch box planer.
About 4 years ago, the lot next to my parents was developed for several houses. We talked with the developer, and managed to go through and mark a number of cherry trees that we wanted to purchase. The developer cut down the trees, cleaned up the trunks, and hauled the logs to the side of the road. We had the wood milled at a local sawyer (Herbine Hardwoods) and split the booty between kiln drying and air drying in our driveway. I’ve put most of the wood (> 2K linear feet) through my planer. It’s taken quite a beating over the years.