I have used through-dovetails on a very few occasions in the past, which I cut by hand with OK results. However, I'm faced with making about 20 drawers, so I bought a dovetail machine (Porter Cable 4212) to speed the process along. I've been experimenting with half-blind dovetails and I've gotta tell you, I'm not having a lot of luck. I seem to be able to get them so that they're so tight they can barely be squeezed together with a clamp, or too loose. When they're too tight, I reduce my depth of cut, and vice versa. I seem to be able to make just about anything except for a tight-fitting joint that goes together with slight pressure.
There don't seem to be too many variables to this equation, which is why I can't figure out why I'm having so much trouble. If anyone has some wisdom to share, I'm all ears. In the meantime, I'll be playing with it some more.