I'm pondering installing a LFS system and wanted to know if there was any practical reason that one should do things by hand.
Here's one reason: Learn how a Linux system works from the inside out.
And other reasons can be found here: LFS- Audience
. LFS is not an exercise in learning to use ./config, make, make check and make install, those are just some of the tools used to build LFS.
If this is your first attempt to build a LFS system I would advise to first build it by hand and get a feel about how things are done. If that works you could make the next step and try building an ALFS system.
Maybe you are, for whatever reason, not interested in the Learn how a Linux system works from the inside out
part. If that is the case dive into ALFS and give it a try.
Hope this helps.