I find SOIC packages with 0.05" pin spacing and 1206 parts significantly easier to solder and deal with than through hole, so I’d prefer SMD. It is so much faster to not have to deal with bending pins evenly and flip to board back and forth hoping everything stays put. And given how bulky 1206 feels, I can’t see 0804 or 0603 to be a problem.
Here is the board with the different packages available for the 74HCT541 for size comparison. Start at the top: SOIC-20_W7.5mm, TSSOP-20_W4.4mm, SSOP-20_W5.3mm and the 20-pin DIP.
The DIP and the SOIC look hand solderable. Not sure about the SSOP and the TSSOP.
i agree with you, that the DIL and SOIC are not too big of a problem to solder. for an experienced solder, its definately possible to do all of them, but not for the general engineer i think.
I would agree with that, I know from experience that I’d have no trouble with the SOIC, but I doubt I could handle the SSOP or TSSOP.