I believe that home births are better for the mother and the baby. It's a safe and more comfortable environment as long as there is a hospital nearby for emergencies. I wish I would have had a midwife and a home birth. Because my OBGYN overdosed me with Pitocin for 20 hours, after the birth I wouldn't stop hemmoraging and they had to do a emergency hysterectomy to save my life. Had I been at home with a midwife, this wouldn't have happened.
Births should be given at hospitals in each and every case. You have everything you need at hospitals to make sure both the baby and the mother make it through the delivery safely. With home births, you have all sorts of risks and I do not think these are necessary.
Having a home birth may have some cultural value, but is very dangerous. The home is not a sterile environment. Precautions can be taken, but hospitals have already done this. Doctor's are trained professionals that know how to deal with unexpected problems without a second thought. They will also have emergency equipment and other doctor's within the facility that specialize in certain emergencies. A home birth can end catastrophically, where a hospital birth poses fewer risks. Ultimately, the health of the child and the mother should be taken into account when making this decision. I think that is worth more than a mother being "comfortable in her own home."
I have given birth to one child and I did that in the hospital with pain killers. I can't imagine trying to given birth without an epidural, although I know many women do this every year. In my opinion, this is a personal choice. For some women, they may prefer home birth, but as for me, I prefer the hospital and their drugs.