I'm not a fan of the offset handle type of rolling pin. I find them more difficult to control. A simple wooden pin is better IMHO. I don't use a dough mat - though I suppose the measurements they display could be useful. Somewhere there is a thread about rolling pins.
Yep same here. For years I had a rolling pin with handles - I hated it because there was very little control or feedback from the dough. I kept intending to replace it but never got around to it so I just used the middle bit and ignored the handles. I recently inherited a lovely simple rolling pin though which not only is much better to use, but I'll always have a memory of my mother in law in the kitchen too
My first cooking efforts with a new rolling pin and dough mat will likely be Pizza Dough and a Dough for a spin off on Hungarian Nut Rolls. I found a recipe for Hungarian Nut Rolls on the web and I just gotta do a few variants on it using different fruit, berries and nuts for each. And I likely will play with the Dough for Nut Rolls, making some more Puff Pastry, Cake-like and perhaps adulterated with Tomato, Spinach, Banana and other stuff. There's a lot to play with there.