I've been fortunate enough to live entirely (100%) off-grid for several years now. When I went to build my house we quickly determined that it wasn't worth it to have power brought back to the house site (I'm 5 miles up in the mountains) and after looking at wind for a bit I went with a solar setup. It's been an interesting experience, and reading the article I can't really say I agree with the author on most points.
I have a 36 panel system that theoretically can create ~40kwh/day on the average day. I have 20 batteries (used to be 24) to cover overnight and overcast/bad weather storage.
First off there's no question that I don't have anywhere near enough batteries. My solar guy used a variety of online calculators to figure out the size and needed and both underestimated my requirements and overestimated the amount of daily discharge the system could handle. As a result we bought a vastly undersized battery system (~1350AH when it was new, more like 750AH now) that we ended up discharging around 75% nearly every night. This is turn is a deadly drain on your batteries and drew down my system sharply to its current capabilities. My own back-of-the-envelope calculations show that I need a system more like 3000AH in capacity to properly power the whole house for a couple of days (if needed). My propane backup generator gets run far more than it ought right now.
Leaving that annoyance to one side though, being off-grid and responsible for my own power (and water; I have an excellent well) is nothing short of awesome! It's my power! I can do what I want, run what I want, and the only thing I have to worry about is what my supply is (when it's at night).
Mind you I've done all kinds of things to be more efficient of course. I am in an ongoing process of replacing all of my CFLs and the handful of incandescents still around with LEDs as I find LEDs that are both price-rational and workable for the task. I just replaced 42 halogen track lights with some excellent LEDs I tracked down from a company named Torchstar and that made a huge difference--I basically hadn't used those tracks at all since we built the house since they were so energy expensive. The house itself is an ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) house and very efficient (13" thick walls), with the entire house heated with radiant heat as opposed to a more typical forced air system. Over the years I've learned to take advantage of a strong sunlight day and run dishwashers and the clothes when the sun is out.
My biggest intermediate goal is to replace the battery stack with something more appropriate. There are several high-amp setups out there that I should be able to make work and I hope to do so next spring (I'm going to be driven to this anyway by the slow death of my current stack). Longer term I'd like to add even more panels until I'm up to 54, not so much for added storage (there's only so much you can put in the batteries and I should have that covered) but to increase the surface area of collection during a cloudy day (the panels will make power even in overcast, so more in that case is better). I think my inverters (two of them, 4000W each) are sized appropriately, though I'll have to add another charge controller when the new panels go in. I just built a new shed to house all of the batteries (it's also ICF) and will be rigging it with a solar heating system this summer; this will keep the batteries warm and toasty during the harsh winters. Even longer term (years), I want to enclose the upstairs deck with a greenhouse, which would help make me more self-sufficient food wise.
I wouldn't change it for the world, honestly....being utterly independent is just a different but good feeling.
If anybody has questions, just ask!