For the longest time, I swore I wouldn't buy this DLC because with the sheer amount of time I've spent with alchemy, cooking, crafting, enchanting, reading, etc I figured it would be endless hours that would take me away from the actual adventure. Mining for clay? Stone? Raising children? Are you kidding me? There was just no way. Then those jerks had to go and make it half price so I bought it on a whim. :) It was worth it I suppose although I did spend a lot of time trekking back to town to buy goat horns, glass, various ingots, etc...anyways, back on topic:
My advice it to save before you built your first house and KEEP THAT SAVE. I made the mistake of building an Enchanters tower and an Alchemists tower (which is IMO the biggest waste of space/money/resources for your house) and a kitchen because I thought there would be some great recipes. WHAT....A...BUST... Basically I wasted the Falkreath and eventually clearted it out and left it alone. I think the baking recipes are a horrible addition. They could have made it awesome but they put a bunch of useless trite which isn't worth the ingredients and weight to carry. Also, every house gives you the option to build an enchantment and alchemy table in the main wing
My 2nd house was Lakeview and I decided to make it my "man cave". I went for the greenhouse, armory, and trophy room.
I liked this one although I too had the stupid mannequin glitch. Forsworn armor and Nordic constantly respawning and if I equip with different armor, I return to find that my mannequin is sporting Nordic guantlets and armor in favor of what I put on it. This also happened with a dragon mask and archmage robes, 2 unique items that have no business being duplicated.
Finally, Heljarchen Hall: I wanted a nice family retreat when the war came to Solitude (where they currently reside) so I went with Bedrooms, Kitchen, and Storage. All weapn plaques were decorated with various enchanted wooden swords (Banish and Turn Undead is a nice combo for a childs practice weapon, made me feel a little more secure in their safety even though it likely has no effect on gameplay) Also, this is the one house I did not remove every single sellable item. I wanted to keep it original for them. Sounds silly huh?
I would like to add that whatever one you choose, have a garden. That is the single most productive thing you can have. You can plant hard to find leeks as well as an assortment of alchemy ingredients. (even more if you build a greenhouse) Cows invite giants, chickens invite wolves, and spouses get kidnapped.
Also, Lakeview has a fish hatchery (I think mine is glitched), Heljarchen has a mill (whoopdy friggin derp) and Falkreach has a apiery although I aparently missed my window to build one and no longer have the option.