I bought my first garlic press a few years ago. It was a cheap thing that only cost a few bucks. I had no idea what I was doing. I tried to press a clove of garlic with it and the darn press wouldn't work. It turns out that I got what I paid for: a cheap piece of trash. I tossed it away and used minced garlic in a jar for a few more years. Secretly, I wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn't figure out how to press garlic. A few months ago, not to be defeated by a kitchen utensil, I decided to try again. Only this time I spent a little more (twelve bucks). I love my garlic press! I just peel the garlic and press it through. No mincing, no guessing how many teaspoons of garlic from the jar equals a clove of garlic, but more importantly, no bite of pasta that contains a bit of garlic that wasn't quite minced small enough. (Willard, it's safe to eat at my house again!)
There is a bit of a difference in the taste of pressed garlic and minced garlic. Pressed garlic is a little stronger. When you press the garlic you break up more of the garlic cells so there is a burst of flavor. Minced garlic is a little more subtle. If you don't really care for the taste of garlic the garlic press is probably not for you. But if you are looking for a more even flavor of garlic throughout your recipe, the garlic press is the way to go.