My solution? I machine-sewed them on. All you need is a zig-zag foot and a cover plate for the teeth, and simple two-hole buttons.
This worked like a charm and saved me time and sanity. Perfectly? Well, almost. In my enthusiastic run to the finish I failed to align the second to last - I kid you not - button correctly - with the following result:
Arrrgh, right? My crystal ball predicts a completely
As for the rest, I settled on one set of hammer-in-an-eyeblink jeans buttons (yea!), and one set of shanked metal ones. I took my sweet time about it and sewed those 8 by hand. Zen and the art of patient sewing!