To be fair, there probably is more "crap" in the self published market than there is in the traditional market. But that doesn't change the fact that there is crap in the traditional market and some great books in the self published market, too. I think these things are what makes some writers, like myself, hesitant to self publish, but, at the same time, not completely averse. I feel like I should have to get past SOME kind of gatekeeper to put my work out there. So what I've done is found some honest book bloggers who don't know me personally to review my book for me. I tell them they don't even have to finish it--if they don't like it enough to finish, just tell me where they stopped reading. On top of that, I've hired multiple professional editors to help me with my book. Sol Stein and his sister helped me a great deal with voice, style, and character. Another editor (from a small publishing house) helped me tighten up my world building and resolve some structural problems. Currently, I'm working to make certain parts of the book more intense (I feel like some parts need to "build" more instead of being a "calm" between storms). From there, I have another editor who can help me on a scene-by-scene level to make sure that I've made the most out of the tension in each scene. I've had multiple agents and editors tell me they think another agent or publisher will pick up the book (so far, they've been wrong, but still waiting to hear back from some). I've had some agents refer me to other agents, I've had publishers contact me after seeing my work online, and I've had agents and publishers ask me to submit my next novel to them. All I conclude is that my book comes "close" but isn't there yet (or, in a few cases, their list was "full"). So, that makes me hesitant to self publish. At the same time, people are asking me when/where they can buy my book, so I decided that I'm putting it out in 2012 (unless the 2 considering publishers get back to me before that). But I do this knowing a lot of people won't "respect" me because my book is self published. Oh well. If my readers are happy, then I'll be happy. Well said and a path to follow.