You can't really get the same look in hand knitting as machine knitting. If you have the ribbing on the edge of a piece, it looks a lot tidier if you use a needle one or two sizes smaller than the rest of the item. It also evens out when you wash or block the item.
Just don't forget that a lot of the pictures you see with perfect even stitches were taken after washing or blocking. Most things don't look that great on the needles, it's the finishing work that... finishes them.