As a guy who is trying to get a novel published, I have mixed opinions on self-publishing. On the downside, you get the needle in a haystack thing in that anyone can upload anything and pretend that they've written a book. The perception is that most self-published books are awful, and it's a reputation they deserve (though that is changing, slowly). On the upside, sure, I've gotten plenty of rejection letters, and the fact that there is another channel to readers (albeit one with an awful S/N ratio) that is removing the monopoly of publishers who are caught between a number of rocks and hard places (dwindling entertainment market share, increased printing costs, genre spreading fragmenting what existing readership they do have, down economy, etc) is a good thing. The lower price point of e-format self-published books may well allow unpublished authors to get a book out there and read by people. All that said, I feel that I'm pretty close to succeeding at the old-fashioned route, so I'm not prepared to say "I know a good book better than people who have been doing it for a living for decades, and my book is good, therefore I'm going to put it out there."