Hello, I'm Elena, and I prefer to make buttonholes by hand.
It may be because all of my machines only have the classical 4-step buttonhole that requires a bit of manual handling, and I've never tried the automagical 1-step set-the-size-and-the-machine-does-everything, but I consider making machine buttonholes a messy process where you lead fabric under the machine hoping for the best, then precariously cutting in the middle of threads, and finally discover that you've doing it wrong, but at least it's usable.
By hand, instead, you first cut (too little), try the button, snip another bit so that the button actually passes, and then proceed to do neat, carefully controlled stitches. It does take more time, but you can easily do it while e.g. lurking an IRC meeting :)
Am I insane? should I try the automagical machine and that would convert me? Would that require me to surrender to the idea of proprietary software in my sewing machine?
Uhm, copyright law says that no ideas are proprietary, only their fixed expression.
Besides, I wasn't talking of the idea of one-step-buttonholes being proprietary, just the specific expression (or rather implementation) of it (and all other functionalities) that run on the processor inside all modern electronic sewing machines.
It may be possible to implement a one-step buttonhole that is purely mechanic, but that is going to be quite a complex and expensive bit of mainteinance-requiring engineering, not something that one would usually get in a home sewing machine.
That leaves the electronic ones, where implementing such features is much easier (for values of "easy" that require the right actuators, possibly sensors, and patient work from the programmers to time everything at the right moment, but probably no big ideas), but I've been avoiding them for various reasons including the fact that AFAIK they all run proprietary and not-easily-replaceable code.