I used to be scared of SMD - now I use it all the time, even on my own home-etched (toner transfer method) boards.
Fore anything smaller than SOIC pitch I tend to use a breakout board of some form (I have some very nice ones specially designed for 100-pin TQFP PIC chips that include all the bypass caps and an ICSP header), because it's more reliable than using TT.
0805 SMD capacitors at 100nF make fantastic bypass capacitors - they just solder directly between adjacent power/ground pins on a DIP chip. They don't take up any room at all then. 22pF ones also make good load capacitors with a crystal between two outer tracks and a central ground track. Again, no room.
Yes, it takes a bit of practice to get it right, but if you always shy away from it then you'll never get that practice. And SMD passive components are so cheap I don't even worry about dropping some on the floor.