Here's an example of Batey's 74hcu04-based sinusoidal oscillator built on a generic array-of-pads prototyping board. This method takes maybe twice as long as white-board prototyping but you get a quality ground plane, and a proto circuit you can keep for future tests.
Here's one proto pattern as etched. This one is a simple array of pads, each 0.250 x 0.075", on 0.275" x 0.1 pitch. The near edges of alternate columns are 0.300" apart, and serve as aiming points for drilling for thru-pins on dip sockets. Ungrounded dip socket pins are bent out 90-deg and trimmed with scissors to about 0.07" before solder, so there's plenty of pad left for passive parts.
I print out these patterns in several variations, as page-filler when I'm printing a custom layout that needs less than a full page. The toner keeps fine in page protectors, so I can etch as needed, at the same time I'm etching another project.
Here's a (very bad) scan of a pencil-and-paper worksheet, one way to prepare a layout. I have Eagle print the pad pattern in light grey at 2 or 4 times lifeslze (which you can see fine, despite this crappy scan.), then sketch a layout in pencil. Red shows bare wires, blue insulated ones. One can use Eagle to place parts and plan wiring, but for simple designs this approach seems faster.