Did anyone else see this post on Nathan Bransford's blog? I think this has been the first thing I've read that actually breaks down sales figures of self-publishing and traditional publishing. He goes on to use examples of real authors and their experiences. He leaves his opinions out of the post and simply states numbers from all sides. Take a gander, it'll leave you scratching your head.
Scenario #2, about Amanda Hocking, is an incredible success. I'd seen her interview a couple of weeks ago, and I'm still in awe over her story. I don't even know her, and I want to shout from the rooftop, "Way to go, Amanda, you rock!"
I have a personal contact who wrote a book two years ago, started her own small publishing company, and she sold many books at book signings. However, after 7 or 8 months, she decided to go the traditional route and tucked her box of books away. I believe they're still sitting in the box.
Her experience scared me away from the self-publishing path. That's not to say I won't attempt it before I throw in the pen. I've wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. To give up now, when I've finally reached a point in my life where I have the time to write, would be an epic failure.
For now, I'm on the traditional path. Have a look-see at Nathan's post and decide for yourself. The figures don't lie.