Paul, after the first 500 paddles, a wee bit of the excitement wears off. You also have your goal more clearly established in your mind and you are able to work at getting good results faster.
Also, that paddle that gets made in an hour doesn't have any laminations or tip protection, and is finished only to the point where its ready for varnish. Just for reference, my Classic and Northwoods series paddles take about 5-6 hours, including varnish, laminations, and epoxy/fiberglass inset tip.
Keep at it! BTW, a good jigsaw will substitute for a bandsaw and the electric plane for the jointer. Nothing will substitute for the grinder!, and a good RO sander is a must. That's it, that's all you need.