Well, I did something similar to the earlier suggestion. I'm getting some breeds from a hatchery primarily for egg production. Like yourself, I also spent a lot of time, thinking, beauty or function. So I decided to go with a mixed flock of different colors and patterns. And I made sure I ordered breeds that are well known for laying. Going to try the australorp for the first time. Read good reviews on that breed being nice and good layers. I've had Barred Rocks, White Rocks, Delaware and Buff Orps, and these all lay extremely well. Giant eggs and some even had double yolkers and one of my white rocks even gave me a triple yoker. Was a shock to us all. The egg was so huge, we wondered how it came out of her bottom. My white rocks have always been good foragers and they are very submissive. The Delawares are very smart and curious and will forage well too. Not good for broodiness. Also had speckled sussex, they are good layers too and pretty to look at, but the eggs are not as giant as the rocks' eggs. I've got Cochins and Silkies for broodiness. So I basically got all my needs met, just get different birds to serve different functions. Some are pets (silkies) some are broodies (cochins) and the rest are all egg layers and eye candy too for the yard.