Well, I've always been a chef's knife girl myself; who needs another gadget when you have a good heavy knife to cut, whack, and smash? But then I received this RoyalVKB Garlic Crusher ($20, MOMA) as a gift, and last night I finally got around to trying it out.
Hoo boy - when it comes to smashed and minced, this thing has won me over. One of its primary selling points is rather silly. They claim that the hands-free, stainless steel gadget keeps the smell from getting all over your hands. Well, you have to scrape the garlic out of the little grooves after you smash it so that is irrelevant.
No, the thing that I love about this tool is that it is fast and effective. It's very heavy; just one firm roll over a clove of garlic and I had a pile of fragrant minced pieces to throw into the pot. It cleans up easily too; just a rinse and wash - no pulling apart gadget pieces or scrubbing the bowl of a garlic press.
This product, incidentally, was the recipient of a Red Dot Design Award. I second it.