I also agree with Ed's statements. I don't ever have anyone do anything I have the time to tackle. I have noticed as the various trades diminish the amount of apprenticeship hours required (or eliminate them altogether) for journeyman status the skill level of the folks doing the work is less and less to be trusted. While certifications such as ASE provide a measure of general knowledge, they don't give any measure of journeyman status. That used to be earned, now it is handed out like candy, sometimes merely by knowing the right person.
I think the bottom line ingredient that a homeowner has in his or her favor is not only the caring and first hand knowledge of their particular situation, but the willingness to learn and the open mind required to produce true excellence.
Let's hear it for good old fashioned Yankee ingenuity after all that is what made this country great and what I believe is going to help us regain some of what we have lost in recent years!