Well, how bout pimping up your breadboard and turning it into a lean, mean, digital-development machine?
This is a short list of the most useful breadboard tricks that I have picked up over the years. Hopefully there's something in here that you will find useful which you haven't already thought of.
Ok, I don't really have 10 tips to share; it just makes for a catchier title. :P
Step 1: Power Connector
See the following picture. It's made from SIP header pins and protoboard. After point-to-point wiring, it is covered with sculpting epoxy.
Step 2: Power and Ground Buses
All you have to do is unscrew the breadboard from the backing, if it has one. Then cut away a strip of the foam backing with an Exacto knife. Next, solder the power and ground buses with some fine wire. Then cover with tape and screw it back onto the backboard.
Step 3: LED's
Well, these breadboard-friendly LED's aren't quite as quick to make as bending around some leads, but they are indefinitely reusable and will save you a lot of space on your breadboard.
Because they have a current-limiting resistor built-in and the lead-spacing is 0.4", they plug directly between your power/ground rail and the main breadboard section. And even better, they can be stacked side-by-side.
I used 0.03" thick single-sided pcb, 3mm LED's, 240R surface mount resistors, and SIP header pins to make these. The only trick is to leave the pins in the header until after you have soldered them, in order to preserve the spacing. And to get them to stack side-by-side, I ground the sides of the LED's a bit with a Dremel.
Here's a video showing how I made them:
Step 4: Buttons
The ubiquitous 6mm tactile switch is another breadboard staple. When you need only 1 or 2, you can just stick them in the breadboard. But try using more than that, and you'll soon have buttons popping out by themselves all over the place, in addition to growing a nice plate of spaghetti.
The simple tactile switch's most common role is to provide a digital input by temporarily connecting an input pin to either the ground rail or the power rail. By making a button array, you can plug the ground/power rail in just once, and will also have a greater density of buttons that won't fall out. You can make your button array up to 3 buttons deep and still take up the same number of breadboard holes... but I find 2 rows to be a more convenient size.
Step 5: Switches
Step 6: Pullup Resistors
These pullup resistors are made the same way as the LED's and will last indefinitely.
It's also nice to have some 10k bussed network resistors on hand, for when you need to pullup an entire row of IC pins or buttons!
Step 7: For My Fellow PIC-heads: Breadboard With Built in ICSP
I don't know if the same thing applies to AVR's, but most every 8 and 14-pin PIC (as well as many of the 20 pin ones) share the same pinout for the programming lines. So I have dedicated a breadboard just for development of these PIC's.
The technique here is the same as that used to connect the power/ground buses. After peeling away some of the backing, you can permanently wire your programming connections and port them out to a standard header. You can also connect your power and ground pins to the appropriate rails and add a chip capacitor while you're in there.
You'll also notice some extra circuitry next to the programming header. Well, the same pins that are used for ICSP can also be used by the micro as normal input/output pins or other functions. If you are using those pins in your project, then you may very well have to connect/disconnect your programming cable each and every time you change and update your code. I have found, for instance, that the PICKit2 programmer holds the programming lines low when the programmer is inactive. Rather than put up with this, I have connected the data and clock lines through signal relays which are only closed when the programmer supplies power to the Vdd rail. The power goes through a rectifier diode so that when only external power is used the relays remain open. The HVP line doesn't get a relay to itself. Instead it is simply diode rectified, so that when it is not active it does not pull the MCLR line low. There is also a programming button at the top left of the board. This simple Instructable shows how I did that: https://www.instructables.com/id/PICKIT2-programming-button-mod/
*Edit: Since publishing this, I've been informed and have also personally confirmed that the Vpp line on a PICKit2 becomes high impedance when inactive, so it does not actually need to be diode-rectified for circuit-isolation; all I have achieved is to remove the ability of the programmer to do a hardware reset of the MCLR line (which hasn't bothered me so far). Oh, well.. I needed a jumper for my pcb, anyway, and the diode was the perfect size. :P
**update: wow, that method of clock/data isolation is sooo last year. Check out the latest pic.