With Ryanair there is no check (unless there is something obviously big/heavy) and if there is no space, just free check-in on gate. Much quicker, easier and fewer headaches.
Ryanair have improved massively over the last 2 years, but many people still judge them for the Rottenmeier style of their early times.
Their baggage policy rocks, that second free cabin bag means the world to me. I've flown them at least 20 times this year (It wasn't always my choice) and honestly I cannot complain about anything. We have always arrived either on time or a few minutes before. Of course you need to "learn" how to fly with them. I check in one week before and never forget to print my boarding pass at home. ( No big deal, really).
While I'm not the biggest fan of their BOB, I usually have something to eat and drink at the airport, and even bring a sandwich with me for the longer flights to Lanzarote, so it's a minor inconvenience I can perfectly live with.
For those of you who hate Ryanair all I can say is fly them at least once and keep an open mind. You might be surprised by how efficient they are.