We try to eat as wholesomely as possible, which typically excludes things like macaroni and cheese from a box. That said, when the craving for macaroni and cheese hits, it hits hard, and we don't always have time to make it from scratch. On those occasions, I always reach for Annie's. It's a fast-food, comfort food in a crunch meal option that I can feel good about serving, and indulging in myself.
I agree that these are even better if you increase the cheesy/creamy quotient but they are such a handy staple. We love all of the varieties including the whole grain shells and DW versions. I used to add butter but now I just add some romano or shredded cheese.
I think the pasta comes out more chewy than other brands. That may simply be due to the shell form rather than the tubes we're used to in the "blue box." I agree with zoem, for adults, the taste is improved with a touch of heavy cream. Although I do believe it is more healthy, I am not impressed with the texture or the result unless it is "improved" by the cream.
Annie's is the best. I always make it with skim milk and think it comes out great. It is lower in fat and cholesterol then other brands.
We make this for the kids, but I also occasionally make it for myself as a quick dinner. Tastes better with a touch of heavy cream rather than milk.