I did this in the fall of 2008 and it was pretty easy and well worth the time and effort as proven this winter. I rented the machine from Home Depot and it worked just fine. The machine is HEAVY though -- you'll need a fairly sturdy trailer for that, and also to get the bags of insulation home (I made 4 trips in my Acura TSX carrying 8 bags per trip -- couldn't see out the side or back windows but it was only a few blocks to HD). The machine was loaded onto a buddy's trailer.
You will need someone down at the machine, in the driveway most likely, to load the insulation into the machine about 1/3 of a bag at a time. You will have a swtich and the hose in the attic with you and can control the machine from there.
Prior to getting everything home, take a trip up into the attic and determine how much insulation you are planning to blow in, and mark these depths on every vertical surface you can, to provide visual indicators as to when to stop blowing in a certain area. This will save you time and hassle once you have the machine for the 4 hours or the day. Plus you'll know exactly how much insulation to buy (and always buy a few bags extra, it can never hurt!).
We did about 1000 sqft of attic space, using 32 bags of the stuff, providing an average of 8" or so of extra insulation. There were some very low spots that took more insulation to get up to the required level, so we JUST had enough insulation to get the job done.
I don't think there's one brand thats better than the others, but we did we a difference in the pricing between the two brands that were available in my area -- both were said to be equal products by about 5 different employees of 3 different stores, so that was good enough reason for em to go with the cheaper bags over the more expensive ones!
Take your time up in the attic, make sure to walk only on the joists (this can be tricky), and not end up going through the ceiling to the floor below!