mowcius: I think that's one major advantage of the 1284 - you can get it in DIP :)
That was my whole point. I homebrew some of my stuff, but only in DIP version, too old and tired to do major smd hand soldered layouts.
Another question is the 1284 and 644p pin compatable in the DIP versions? An arduino board that could utilize DIP 644p and 1284 would open my wallet, assuming the IDE software could be made to work with it by mear mortals like myself. :D
EDIT: Answered my own question by reviewing datasheets: 644p and 1284 are pin compatible in 40pin dip version at least.