Seriously - I think that the store bought box mixes are really pretty good. Everyone has eaten thousands of cakes/cupcakes from box mixes. When I make scratch cakes they are delicious but always slightly denser, a little richer, if that's a way to describe it. And it takes forever to make properly and makes a terrible mess, with lots of dishes to wash. I like the taste and texture of an old fashioned scratch cake better. However, I have yet to find a single person that knows the difference in cake.
But: the cake frosting, cookie icing, fudge filling, and ganache is a different story. Everyone knows the difference there, even the kids. (and the men who don't pay that much attention to such things notice.)
I'm considering making the cakes and cupcakes from box mixes and just focusing my time, money, and energy into luxurious homemade scratch icings and fondants. It's just a hobby for me, any thoughts??