Surface mount can be less hassle than through-hole, especially for parts with lots of pins.
Some useful parts:
- Atmel ATTiny26 - nice little AVR that comes in 20-pin SOIC. $2.58 from Digikey ATTINY26-16SC-ND
- Identification Pictures for SMD - nice set of pics of common packages. Shows the relative sizes.
- Dan's Small Parts - has some SMD assortments at the bottom. Haven't tried 'im. Looks like some dude in his garage.
- The toaster oven method - check out the number of pins! There ain't no through-hole version.
- More toast oven madness - nice walkthrough with good shots of encountered problems.
- PIC based controller for toaster oven - using a PIC to get better curves out of the toaster oven
- Low-cost SMD soldering guide - from avrfreaks. Requires registration.
- BD Micro SMT Soldering Tutorial - hand soldering. Uses AVR and MAX232 as examples.
- SMT failure library - photos of some problems with SMT PCBs.
- $20 hot air gun - desolder iron from RS + aquarium air bubbler
- Stuff from the PIClist - lots of good info
- Hand soldering SOIC - you can use blue tack to hold 'em down
- Mike Estee's SMT page!