When I was a child, I had very little toys. Someone gave me a used Barbie which I held on to for dear life. Then, when I was 7, someone hand knitted me a dress for the doll. It was like gold to me. I cherished that dress so much and wish I still had it.
Someone hired me a few years ago to make thank you cards as a shower gift. They ordered 150 identical cards. I heard that when the recipient opened them, the entire room stood and cheered. So, I do think handmade gifts are appreciated. But on the other hand, I've had someone tell me that they prefer store bought gifts. I limit giving handmade gifts to people I think will cherish them. It's too much effort and time to waste on someone who doesn't appreciate it.
I think quilts, knitted winter woolies, memory albums, and paintings are some of the most appreciated gifts, but I'm sure there are a lot more I'm forgetting.