My background is web development I know I can assemble a solution (i.e. WordPress / Gravity Forms / Stripe, etc) yet I want to go for simplicity / practicality and, ideally, point the organizers to a solution that offers additional value (time tracking integration, perhaps, etc).
I'm considering EventBrite as a baseline.
I think that Eventbrite is your best solution. It's simple to use from an organizer and user perspective, and there's little fuss in taking payments. No reason to get fancier.
Might be kind of unorthodox, but maybe not. Have you considered using Meetup.com?
There is a meetup host fee... Like $14 or something... But I think it offers you solutions.
Definitely http://www.webconnex.com. Straightforward fees, and they have a product just for this. The founders are also great guys!
Their clients range from Google, to Red Bull, small non-profits, to 5k races.
we recently wrote the second edition of the Good Event Registration guide. The report helps you compare hundreds of registration providers and it's free to download http://eventmb.com/ReGGuide2015
Choosing a registration platform is a vey delicate decision. There are a lot of considerations to be made that can make or break your event.
Many platforms also offer discounts and free options for not for profit events.
If you are looking for a WordPress solution, you can look into http://showthemes.com that offers integration with WooCommerce or Gravity Forms.
When it gets to event registration there is no one size fits all solution. It depends on your event type, numbers, ticket price.
Get in touch if you have any questions.