Had one for about three years now and can't imagine going back to hand masking. You can apply cold laminate with it but it's a two person job. One to crank it through and one to pull away the laminate's release liner. It's definitely not designed with that in mind.
The Sheeter is worth every penny! Have had one for a little over a year now and what a time saver it is. Do a search for sheeter on this board and it should pull up some forums. In one of those is the place that is the cheapest for this item. I can not remember who has it now.