another hobby of mine is electronics. roff is right here, its called point to point wiring and was used on radios, amps, pretty much everything up until the late 50's and somewhat later. very robust and the easiest to service...pull a part, j-hook the new one and solder...ur done..
the etching chemicals for photo-resist boards really arent that bad. i think its just ferric chloride right???..i mean i develop my own b/w film and i dont treat boards any differently. get it on your hand. washy washy...all is good
for most simple things i just grab a copper clad fiberglass board blank, lay out the circuit and remove the copper around the traces with a dremel..if ur doing through hole, a tiny pin vice works wonders..u can use tiny copper rivets for dual sided boards as well.
if its a simple curcuit, id either dead bug it or hand mill a board for mid size surface mount discreet components by hand.
actually...fuck it, just grab a proto board and make your traces with solder.