Breadboard Alternatives or Next Steps?

I have no formal electronics training and have self-taught myself Arduino so I am turning to the forum for advice. As my projects have grown in size and complexity, I find that breadboards are great for rapid prototyping but have drawbacks (wires can come loose, you end up with a tangle of wires, etc.). Protoshields seem nice if you have really small electronic components like resistors and LEDs, but don't seem practical for sensors that are larger or need to face in a certain orientation (e.g. ultrasonic distance sensors, PIR sensors, etc).

What is the next step / evolution that I should be focusing on and what is a good resource to get started? How do you manage your projects?

Proto*board* or stripboard (Vero) - use only the fibreglass version. You can get various versions, some that replicate a breadboard, some just have a "land" for every hole and you solder bare or insulated wire across the lands to make your connections.

The next step up is that you use a PCB design program (Eagle) and have the boards made and sent to you (ITEAD).

Wirewrap is also a good step for a final project if not jumping into a PCB.

I just used OSH Park for my project. They give you three copies of your board for $5 per square inch with lovely purple soldermask. They also take Eagle .brd files directly, no need to process them into a Gerber first.

Prototype it...

Make it durable...

I guess after proto/strip board..

It is possible to simply draw onto copperclad, you draw the tracks, pads, etc and then it's a case of etching the board and soldering the components...