Is it necessary to go straight to ordering a professionally made PCBs when one wants to test a surface mount component circuit involving high rates of change of voltage (dv/dt) and current (di/dt)? That is, this question refers prototyping SMD PCBs when one must minimize interconnect length to avoid parasitic inductance. Does this requirement make readily available breakout boards useless? (http://www.futurlec.com/SMD_Adapters.shtml). I've etched my own PCBs, but, I have found that soldering fine pitch parts without a soldermask difficult. Have people found this to be a viable option even with leadless packages with 0.5mm pad spacing and a big thermal pad such as the QFN?
For a particular example I refer you to this question: What is causing large oscillations in my DC/DC boost converter? Is this ground bounce or some other effect? This was my first attempt at SMD circuit, a DC/DC converter, and in dealing with parasitics. It was based around a small QFN and I couldn't think of any way to prototype the circuit other than to go straight to getting the board done professionally. A very tight layout was indeed critical to getting the board to work. I found that my layout wasn't sufficiently tight and I will need to make another board revision.
Did I have a better option to getting the board done professionally? I am asking in case there is another option I don't know of.
Does anyone try to solder 30 gauge wire wrap wire onto the small pads and wire the chip up somehow?