I am looking for a few backyard chicken breeds that are very docile, friendly and lay a decent amount of eggs. This will be my first real foray into chicken keeping . I bought and read a dozen books, I took 3 classes and have now after joining this and another chicken group I have narrowed down a it few breeds. The top of my list is Barnevelders! I am so enamored with Barnevelders --double laced Barnevelders are so beautiful and lay dark brown eggs (color of eggs not as important to me but it would be great). Their temperament is always described as friendly, docile and sweet. They supposedly are more susceptible to Marek's disease so they must be vaccinated. My question is if you have them or had them what is your opinion? Are they worth the trouble of such a search? There are no breeders of good stock near Portland, Oregon that I can find (Lebanon hatchery is not an option after what I've read...)! If I get eggs then I will have to get a straight run and I cannot have roosters. I also only want a few as my flock will be limited to 4-6 hens. I am planning on getting an Australorp and Plymouth Rock as they have a great reputation too. Thank you all so much for your opinions and for sharing your experience!!