I have a 5hp chipper/shredder that I use for branches. I bought it used at a garage sale. It needed a little work, which hubs fixed and now it works like a charm. ITs a little hard to start but it works great. I've used it for leaves, but really I prefer the lawn mower.
I live on a wooded lot and over the years, using trial and error, and I have figured out the best way to process leaves is to use the lawn mower. No raking. If I use the chipper shredder, I still have to rake the leaves and either move the chipper around or the move the leaves around.
With the lawn mower, in mulching mode, I can mulch the leaves in place (no raking). AFter I made a first pass over the lawn with mower in mulch position, I then put the bag on and make a second pass with the bag. By doing this, I am using the power of the mower to move the shredded leaves to where I want to put them. Its still a bit tedious, but the trick is to mulch the leaves first with no bag. If you just put the bag on without a mulching pass, the bag fills up quickly with unshredded leaves. Mulching them first significantly reduces the volume and minimizes the amount of times that you have to empty the bag.
I was wanting one of those mulching machines, too. GF had one and sold it right off. She said it was worthless...that it was better to empty and re-empty the lawnmower bag a few times and run over the leaves with the mower....did a better job.
I was also given a leaf vacuum that sucks up leaves, muclches them. It sucked....I mean in a bad way. Takes too long to suck up the leaves, like forEVER. But it did a good job at mulching. I never use it.
Also I was reminded leaf mulch blows away off flower bed and won't stay put like pine/bark mulch.
I have a mower with all sorts of attachments. I usually wait until most of the leaves are down, then I put it in mulching mode first and grind up all the leaves real small. Then I put the bagger on there and vacuum it all up.
The remaining leaves, I just put it in mulch mode and grind it up so it feeds the lawn over the winter.