I have one of the little red plastic hand corkers and it's not too bad if you're only doing a few. A dozen or so at a time won't kill you if you're reasonably healthy. I'm an out-of-shape keyboard jockey and I can push 'em in without a lot of trouble. Stick with #7 or #8 corks, though; if you want to use anything larger better go with a benchtop or floor corker.
How about an alternative to corking? I bottled some of my special beers in 750ml green champagne bottles that could use regular bottle caps. I then capped that with shrink wrap foil. It ended up looking really nice without the hassle of corks. Just a thought.
A bottle that would handle the pressure involved for carbonating, a cork, and a bottle cap would be great for aging something like a big barley wine, Samiclaus clone, etc. And being a 750 ML bottle would be a great size for Christmas presents, etc.
from what I have learned so far from my trials trying to cork wine bottles by hand is DO NOT use a tapered cork. You will not get a good enough seal to bottle condition. Also if you are going to do this by hand or with your own home made gadget like I later did you dont really want to do a lot.
I ended up using a 5" long peice of 1/2" dowell rod fitted to an 18" peice of 2x4 with a 1/2" hole drilled halfway into to to accomodate the dowell. It worked, kinda. Next time I do this though I think I will just wait until I can buy a wine corker. There will be a lot less work involved and fewer four letter words coming from my kitchen while I cork.