CNC mills can be better than etching if you’re not interested in dealing with chemicals. The Othermill will even take care through hole drilling. The main challenge with DIY PCBs is still dealing with vias.
Once you calculate the cost of all the equipment to make reasonable PCBs you may be better off using a quick turnaround PCB service with over night shipping like DirtyPCBs. It really depends on your situation though.
We’ve been on the lookout for alternatives to chemically etching circuit boards for years. The problem has been that we don’t particularly want to devote months of or lives learning how to build precision CNC mills. Off in the distance there may be an answer for that quandary if you don’t mind parting with twenty-two Benjamins. Sure, it’s a heck of a lot more expensive than toner transfer and cupric chloride, but the Othermill can be purchased right now (in your hands a few months later) and after reading this in-depth review we are a bit less hesitant about opening our wallets for it.