I love mashed potatoes. (Any time any where) However, I really have a hard time with the boxed stuff. A friend of mine gave me a boxed (powdered) of some "great brand". Yeah, not so much. I am another one that has to quiz most restaurants since I have had the instant potatoes served at "Down Home" restaurants. Listen I fully get that KFC is going to be instant potatoes. But if you are "by scratch" then don't lie to me.
I do have some instant potatoes in my cupboard, but it is a thickener or for a couple of my bread recipes.
Honestly, I have never found them that hard to make. Or if it is just me, I will microwave a russet and then take the peel off and mash with butter and a dash of milk.
Okay, total disclosure. I don't ALWAYS make mashed potatoes from potatoes. I have used Trader Joe's frozen mashed potatoes, which are pretty darn good.
I also am okay with some lumps, but am intrigued by the folks who use potato ricers. (I know that a food processor will tend to turn it into wall paper paste.)