The Grace Designs M103 is a mono channel solid-state based, transformer-less channel strip. The unit consists of a microphone preamplifier, an equalizer, and a compressor, so as you can see this is a pretty complete channel strip. The M103 has XLR connections for both ins and outs, as well as 1/4" for both balanced and unbalanced main outs. It also has a 1/4" input in the front for using this as a direct input box. This is indeed a rackable piece of gear, and will only take up a single space in a standard rack space.
I didn't find the Grace Designs M103 to be particular hard to use at all. I should say that I'm pretty familiar with the standard parameters found on channel strips, so I can't say that the story would be the same with a less experienced user. However, the interface of the strip is laid out well and is overall smartly designed. The mic pre has parameters for gain, as well as switches for mic/line selection, phantom power, ribbon, and a high pass filter. The EQ is made up of three bands, each with parameters for frequencies and gain, although the mid band also has a Q parameter. The compression has pretty standard parameters as it has those for threshold, attack, release, and ratio, which goes up to 12:1. The unit also has a trim output leveler. Unless you're a beginner or are having some sort of technical problem, I don't think that a manual is a necessity.
Overall, the Grace Designs M103 is a very clean sounding unit to say the least. It is certainly suitable for any type of recording as you'd like to do with, as the vast array of processors and parameters makes it easy to adapt to most situations. The M103 definitely isn't the most 'vibey' piece of gear, or in other words it doesn't have the most character, but where it lacks here it makes up for in sheer crystal clear sound quality.
The Grace Designs M103 is pretty expensive for a mono channel strip, but you are definitely getting a lot of features within this single box. Because of the price, I'd really only recommend it for the professional, as this is probably out of the price range for most home studio owners. However, I'd still encourage all interested to check it out and do some in depth research on it, as it is definitely a piece of gear worth looking into.