For about $25 shipped, Jen and I bought a Donvier 1-pint ice cream maker from Ebay. You keep in your freezer a tub whose hull is filled with anti-freeze. When you want to make ice cream, you make your mix, dump it in the tub, and snap on some parts that let you turn a crank to scrape the mix from the walls as it freezes. After the first couple of minutes, a half-turn every minute or so is plenty -- it takes some 20 minutes, but isn't an arduous process.
In the end, the ice cream is pretty soft, and will need to be put back in the freezer to get hard. (The instructions call for cranking your freezer to the max for hours to get the tub as cold as possible before you start -- we don't bother. No doubt we'd have harder ice cream faster that way.)
We use good ingredients, and the result is the best ice cream we've ever had. Given the cost of the ingredients, our homemade ice cream isn't cheaper than most packaged ice cream. It's cheaper than premium ice cream, but not by a huge amount. But we have fun doing it, which is what makes it worth it.
If you like good ice cream, and this sounds like fun, give it a try.