No need to bother with all this mess if you like the coffee you drink today, the beans you buy or the ground coffee that comes from the grocery store or neighborhood coffee shop. For decades I thought grocery store pre-ground was just fine.
So why bother? I want good tasting coffee, I don't want to pay $12.00 per pound or more for mail order fresh roast and there is not a good roaster up the street. I roast my own. This means a choice of coffee beans from around the world, less than half the price of retail or specialty roasted coffee, and it is fresh. I know, because I roasted it myself... not burned (not usually anyhow - mistakes do happen), not stale, not expensive. It's a nice hobby with rewards every morning, including my wife's magic smile and even the occasional "Ummmm. This is really good."
There are plenty of ways to roast small batches of coffee at home - it is quite easy. It can be done in a wok, a frying pan, a microwave, a stirring popcorn popper, a hot air popcorn popper (my close second choice), on the grill or with a number of commercial products. Air poppers are great for small batches (most handle about 1/2 cup of green beans) - two poppers are even better (one roasting while the other cools down). Commercial home roasters are pretty good, I have read, but they seem prone to an early death and have limited capacity. I've settled on a developing a home made device similar to many concocted by home roasters and discussed at alt.coffee. It an electric grill with a rotisserie combined with a stainless steel wastebasket. It is intended to roast up to a pound at a time in total silence (outdoors - it does issue some lingering aroma and smoke). The unit is hands-off during a roasting cycle; it is quieter, faster and easier to work with than a popper. Some claim much improved roast quality with a radiant heat drum (compared to a fluid bed popcorn popper). I agree.
Other roasting aficionados have made equivalent hand-cranked devices for as little as $10.00. I say, "Yahoo!" Better coffee to them.